The NewBo City Market is giving some of its vacant vendor spaces a much needed facelift, in order to make room for new incoming Shopkeepers who will be starting their businesses this spring and summer.
Since the announcement of The Hatchery program, which helps underserved entrepreneurs by reducing barriers to entry, the Market has experienced a surge of interest in its spaces from aspiring business owners in the community.
The Hatchery is an expansion of the Market’s ongoing efforts to help small, locally-owned, local product-based businesses get their start and expand out into the community. The space renovations are another way for the Market to provide these business owners with a clean slate.
"Despite, or because of, the effects the pandemic has had on the economy, interest in starting a business at the Market has been very high," said NewBo City Market Executive Director Scott Kruger. "The negative effects of the pandemic can be seen in the empty spaces once occupied by growing businesses. However, they will be filled with new Shopkeepers fulfilling their dream of owning their own businesses much sooner than we could have hoped."
In early March, demolition began on the spaces. NewBo City Market staff, board members and volunteers began tearing down walls and dismantling shelves. With the help of sledge hammers, drills and saws, the spaces were completely gone by the end of the day on March 9th.
Now on to rebuilding.
The Market hopes to have the new spaces built, and ready to receive new Shopkeepers, by the end of March. Visitors are encouraged to come by and check on the progress themselves, while also supporting the current Shopkeepers at the Market.
"NewBo City Market is in its ninth year of helping entrepreneurs get their small local businesses started. In that time, we have been home to over 60 start-up businesses, not to mention a couple of floods and a derecho. As you can imagine, that has caused a great deal of wear and tear on our old building. Renovating our Shopkeeper spaces is a necessary and important step to create a home for today's new small business owners. The Market is removing a big barrier so our new entrepreneurs need not worry about construction and electrician costs and focus on their products, business plans, and making a home at the Market." Kruger said.
"We are excited to see these spaces becoming the foundation of both our Shopkeepers' small business dreams and of our recovering and growing local small business community."
These renovations are made possible by individual donations from the Market's supporters. To donate to this specific project visit our fundraiser on Facebook or become a Friend of the Market on Donorbox.