West Michigan Retail Center Announces Contest for Entrepreneurs Amid Rebranding Efforts; Prizes Include Year of Rent, $10,000+ in Marketing / Media Support

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The Shops at Westshore, formerly Westshore Mall, present Set Up Shop @ The Shops contest

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Set Up Shop @ The Shops is our way of showing the West Michigan community how deeply we believe in supporting and encouraging local businesses. This contest provides the opportunity to showcase those individuals striving and thriving at the local level.

Following announcement of its de-malling and rebranding on June 10, The Shops at Westshore (formerly Westshore Mall), will present an entrepreneur-driven competition that will provide one aspiring business owner with their own storefront. Set Up Shop @ The Shops, which begins with assessment night on August 13, will grant the winner the first year of a six-year lease term free, as well as more than $10,000 in media and marketing support from local businesses.

“Set Up Shop @ The Shops is our way of showing the West Michigan community, specifically those residing in Holland and Zeeland, how deeply we believe in supporting and encouraging local businesses,” said Jean Ramirez, General Manager for The Shops at Westshore. “While we are bringing in regional and national tenants to The Shops, our goal is to have a unique mix of businesses. This contest provides the opportunity to showcase those individuals striving and thriving at the local level.”

The contest, designed to engage and cultivate the talents of West Michigan’s entrepreneurs by providing the resources needed to ensure long-term business success, draws inspiration from hit reality television series Shark Tank and American Idol. Lakeshore Advantage and the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) are working alongside The Shops at Westshore as strategic partners on the contest. The panel of judges is comprised of: Greg Erne,The Shops at Westshore; Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage; Steve Jackson, JCPenney; and Mark Ansara, Colliers International | West Michigan.

Full details of the winning package, as well as important dates to remember, are listed below:

Winning Package

  •     One year free rent toward six-year lease term (up to 1,800 square feet)
  •     $2500 in ads from Cumulus Radio for grand opening
  •     One month on the GR Outdoor billboard located north of The Shops at Westshore on US-131
  •     Up to 25 hours in website design from Blue Sky Sessions
  •     10 hours of branding consultation by Saradipity

Important Dates

  •     June 22, 2015                Contest Announcement (application available online)
  •     August 13, 2015            Assessment Night
  •     October 22, 2015            Due Date: Business Plan
  •     November 12, 2015        Pitch Night / Winner Announcement
  •     January 4, 2016            Store Turnover Date
  •     No later than April 1, 2016    Store Grand Opening

“This is an incredibly unique opportunity to invest in a local entrepreneur striving to contribute to the greater community,” said Ansara. “As a judge, I am looking for a business model that is both innovative and sustainable – a brand that has the ability to flourish by demonstrating its relevancy to the greater West Michigan community.”

The Shops at Westshore announced plans for de-malling and its new brand with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 10.

For further information about Set Up Shop @ The Shops, please visit: http://www.theshopsatwestshore.com/setupshop. To learn more about Colliers International | West Michigan, please refer to: http://www.colliers.com/en-us/westmichigan.

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