Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)

Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Sylvan Lake is offering a storefront location free for one year in a contest designed to provide an economic development boost.

The town and Community Futures Central Alberta are teaming up on the Win This Space initiative, which offers a rent-free commercial space up to a value of $15,000.

A business pitch competition is part of the initiative, which will see the successful candidate given help with mentoring, networking and business training.

Town economic development officer Amanda Mercer said similar initiatives have proven successful in a number of Ontario communities.

Mercer said the goal is to find a business that will complement the downtown and be a good fit with existing businesses.

Local businesses looking to relocate from one site to another are not eligible unless a new, unrelated business, product or service is being pursued or being removed from an existing business to its own stand-alone location. Those looking to convert a home-based business into a brick and mortar location are also eligible.

“It couldn’t be just be a move because that wouldn’t serve our purpose of filling another space in our downtown,” said Mercer. “That’s why that rule is in there to encourage an expansion or a new element into a new space.”

Another must is that the business holds year-round appeal.

“Having a business that can sustain the winter months and not just take advantage of the summer months is really important for our downtown,” she said.

“This is part of our business recruitment strategy for the downtown area. It was identified in our Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan that the town really wanted to see downtown revitalized and they wanted to see business vacancies go down significantly.”

“This is one way we’re helping fill that gap and meet the needs of the plan.”

There are many businesses that offer services such as outdoor cafes in the summer but continue to cater to customers when beach season has closed, she said.

About 15 properties are on the list of eligible locations for the winning business proposal and others may be added.

While there are a number of vacancies downtown the town has attracted some new businesses recently. White Frog Cafe Coffeehouse and Roastery opened in a historic stone building at 5025 46th St. and features a gift store. Spice Hut East Indian Cuisine also opened recently at 5004 46th St.

For more information on the initiative go to www.sylvanlake.ca



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin releases 50-year Community Vision results

The comprehensive community vision has been divided into five core pillars.

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Screen grab/ https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#geospatial
COVID-19 cases continue to grow in the Wetaskiwin area

The City of Wetaskiwin currently has 141 active cases.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read