DTSF Launches Loan Program For Existing Businesses

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A lot of times, we’ll hear about cities trying to lure in new businesses.
But there’s a new focus in downtown Sioux Falls. In 2014, Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. launched the Retail Incubator Program with hopes of bringing more business to the central downtown area. But now it’s vision has changed.

Owner of Sticks and Steel Terri Schuver serves on Downtown Sioux Falls Board of Directors as a 16 year veteran to the scene. She says for a while the focus was on bringing business to the area, but that has changed.

“Now that nearly all the storefronts are open, it seemed like an important thing to help those businesses that are currently in the downtown area stay in the downtown area,” Schuver said. 

Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. is allocating $100,000 to a new Micro-Finance Loan Program.

It will provide business established for at least one year, anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.

“Maybe they need a little help staying open longer hours, or maybe they’ve had some construction happen in their area that has quieted traffic down so they need a little help getting through those months,” Schuver said. 

“And of course there was the building collapse and that disruption to the downtown retail scene was something that was felt by retailers all through the first quarter of 2017,” President of Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. Joe Batcheller said. 

Existing downtown businesses qualify if they meet one of more of the following conditions: If a business has experienced loss of revenue due to external circumstances that has negatively affected business, if a business wants extended hours to 8 p.m. at least five days per week, or if a business wants to convert non-retail space to retail or expand its retail floor area.

Batcheller said giving  business owners a hand is important to keep the money flowing to the area.

“They might have a child who wants to take swimming lessons or they might need to take care of a repair at their house, so when you shop at a local business, that money is staying in the community,” Batcheller said. 

“We don’t have corporate resources, we just have each other. So it’s tight-knit from that perspective,” Schuver said . 

Interested businesses will be required to consult with a counselor to figure out a customized business plan prior to acceptance in the program. 

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