Downtown Concierge

Inside 43215: KickStart Retail


inside 43215


Downtown Columbus

Do you or someone you know have a great business concept and would love to open a downtown storefront, but you’re a little low on cash? Columbus KickStart is a contest that will award up to three winners with rent-free space for a full year – yeh, not one red penny. The benefits don’t stop there.

Columbus City Council and its partners are offering a kick start to local entrepreneurs with a chance to win no-cost rent for a year plus deeply discounted rent for the next two years. Winners will receive additional business incentives and extensive consultation to help them turn a concept into reality.

Entrepreneurs need to submit a business plan by March 1 to the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), and contestants will need to attend a mandatory business planning seminar. Finalists will then pitch their concept to a panel of judges that will select up to three winners.

The storefronts are located at 267, 275 and 281 South Third Street along a major downtown transportation corridor and less than a block away from one of the most popular downtown attractions, Columbus Commons, where hundreds of thousands of people gather for great events year round.

“KickStart is a way to energize small business owners and highlight this important sector of our economy by giving them a boost in the ultra-competitive marketplace and provide the tools they need to thrive,” said Columbus Councilmember Eileen Y Paley.

“A priority for Columbus City Council is supporting the promotion of small businesses in our community,” said Councilmember A. Troy Miller, chair of the Small & Minority Business Development Committee.   “This project aligns perfectly with City Council's mission to promote opportunities for small business development, job creation, innovation, and technology integration into worker skill sets.”  

For more information and official contest rules go to