BeltLine MarketPlace program advances commercial affordability strategies with retail spaces for entrepreneurs directly on the multiuse trails
BeltLine MarketPlace is a unique opportunity for local entrepreneurs to get affordable retail space on the Atlanta BeltLine, with access to the more than 2 million people who visit the trail each year. Selected businesses also participate in a business incubator program that teaches them everything from marketing to cash flow.
Applications for the program will be accepted from October 16 to October 30, 2023, online at www.beltline.org/marketplace. The application process will be administrated in partnership with The Village Market, the small business incubation partner from the inaugural season.
To qualify for the BeltLine MarketPlace, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Be in operation for at least one year
- Have an annual revenue of at least $50,000
- Employ a minimum of two individuals capable of working a minimum of five hours per day, seven days a week at a MarketPlace location
The BeltLine encourages all businesses to apply, especially those considered to be historically socially and economically disadvantaged, such as Minority Business Enterprises, women, veterans, and LGBTQ+ community members.
“We feel it is one of our responsibilities to pave the way for Atlanta’s entrepreneurs through strategic commercial affordability programs. BeltLine MarketPlace is a pathway to participate in the BeltLine economy. We see its success with our first group of alumni, many of whom are going on to open permanent locations along the Atlanta BeltLine,” said Clyde Higgs, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “The BeltLine is committed to supporting the small business ecosystem and addressing economic inequity around the corridor.”
During its pilot season, the BeltLine MarketPlace’s six small businesses generated more than $150,000 in sales through the end of third quarter 2023. These businesses benefited from instant exposure to BeltLine foot traffic and participated in small business incubation training to evolve their business plan and pivot their strategies to maximize their business growth at the sites. They have expanded their customer bases by actively engaging in BeltLine events, including the monthly BeltLine MarketPlace Indie Market Experience and the popular Art on the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade. They also received television, online and print publicity as part of the program.
This BeltLine MarketPlace program was catalyzed by a $750,000 grant from the Kendeda Fund and is supported by a $250,000 grant from Google. Additionally, Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology, equips each business with its Clover® point-of-sale and business management system, enabling secure payment processing.
Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor highlight the challenges faced by small businesses, with roughly half succeeding past five years. Access to capital, resources, customers and rising lease rates have been identified as significant barriers to success for entrepreneurs. BeltLine MarketPlace is actively eliminating these obstacles by covering space construction and tenant build-out costs, providing prime BeltLine locations and offering competitive lease rates below market value.
The BeltLine MarketPlace is a vital component of the organization’s economic inclusion and commercial affordability strategy which aims to secure affordable commercial opportunities for local, independently owned, small businesses across the entire 22-mile loop while safeguarding businesses from displacement. The BeltLine is focused on stimulating inclusive economic growth, promoting wealth creation in the BeltLine’s Equity Priority Areas, and creating jobs through business growth and development.
The Atlanta BeltLine takes on the construction and build-out of the MarketPlace space as another means to lower the barriers to entry for local entrepreneurs. While custom-designed containers are currently located on the Eastside and Westside Trails, BeltLine MarketPlace plans to expand with additional locations along the Atlanta BeltLine loop. Additional funding from the philanthropic community will enable more extensive scaling, ultimately creating even more opportunities for entrepreneurs to tap into BeltLine foot traffic, test new products and services, and reach new markets and communities.
Interested businesses are encouraged to submit their applications at www.beltline.org/marketplace. The application period is open from October 16 through October 30, 2023.
High resolution images can be downloaded here https://beltline.mediavalet.com/portals/beltlinemarketplace.
About Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s vision is to be the catalyst for making Atlanta a global beacon for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city life. As one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States, the Atlanta BeltLine is building a more socially and economically resilient Atlanta with our partner organizations and host communities through job creation, inclusive transportation systems, affordable housing, and public spaces for all. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit www.BeltLine.org.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Office of Communications and Media Relations
100 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 2300, Atlanta, GA 30303
Jenny Odom, Communications & Media Relations Manager
(404) 477-3659, email@example.com