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Pop Up Project seeks to amp up business development in Downtown - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Pop Up Project seeks to amp up business development in Downtown Shreveport

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(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

Pop up in downtown Shreveport - that's the goal of a new project aimed at generating business growth for the area, which has become known for its vacant buildings.

"From bowling alleys to bakeries, and everything in between, we believe that the spaces in the Red River District are perfect for your business."

Whose business? Well, that all depends on who applies to be a part of the first regional Pop Up Project.

It's a new initiative with a simple purpose - and a short time frame - fill the empty storefronts in the district for two weeks.

"You fill out an application telling us why your business should be here, and if you're business is chosen, you will get rent free space," explains DDA Executive Director Liz Swaine. "We believe that these pop ups will help invigorate downtown, they'll create more foot traffic, they'll show off our great spaces, and hopefully they will grow the business."

Partnering with Citizens National Bank, the City of Shreveport, and the Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation, the Downtown Development Authority will choose five businesses to 'pop up' from May 12-23.

In addition to zero rent, the businesses will be given a soft grand opening, marketing and advertising services, and valuable banking advice.

"[This is] to promote the future, to show people what it's like to do business in downtown. To show people how they can grow, how they can learn about entrepreneurship," says Jeff Everson, District B City Councilman.

For those that argue that this is no long-term solution, local officials say - think again.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover says it's sometimes the unconventional approaches to development that work best.

"To have the kind of mind that will yourself to get outside the box, to be open to new and different ideas," Glover said Monday during a press conference in the Red River District. "People traffic can generate a good business opportunity that ultimately ends up making this a cool and desirable place to be."

The long-term goal of the project is get these businesses to stay in the area, and foster further economic development for downtown.

Two additional downtown pop ups are in the works for the coming months - one in the Business District and another in Shreveport Common.

If you're interested, you've got until April 24th to fill out a Request for Proposal and application through the Downtown Development Authority.

Swaine says both existing and start-up businesses will be considered for the project, but applicants are warned that you need to have something to show or sell at the pop up, not just a business plan.

Applications can be found online at this link, or picked up in person at all Citizens National Bank locations.

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