Cudahy Rolls Out the Welcome Wagon to Draw Small Businesses to Packard Avenue

Jan. 21, 2010

The City of Cudahy has put together an incentive program totaling thousands of dollars in an effort to attract unique, small businesses to Packard Avenue.


“Packard Avenue has long been known for its distinctive, independent retail and service businesses,” said Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue. “But the reality is we have a lot of empty storefronts right now that we’d love to fill and we MUST fill.”


The Welcome Wagon package allows business-owners to choose from grant, loans and incentive options that could add up to $57,300. The options include:


• $3,000 design grant

• $25,000 matching construction grant

• $10,000 lease buy-out

• Loans up to $25,000 at 2% interest

• $500 in moving assistance

• $300 in business training

• $2,500 for a grand opening celebration


Cudahy will award Welcome Wagon packages to the first five accepted applicants before July 31, 2010. The retailers must move into property along Packard between Cudahy and Holmes Avenues.


Lara Fritts, Director of Economic Development, says the City is keenly aware that times remain tough for small businesses.


“This program will give start-up or relocating retailers a leg-up if they come to Packard Avenue, and we are fully committed to helping them succeed over the long term,” Fritts said. “These grants, loans and incentives will not only help new retailers open their doors in Cudahy, but also help them become more profitable and more educated business owners.”


Landlords must apply for the incentive package along with their prospective tenants, to show that they are as committed as the City to helping these new retailers thrive. Among the program’s requirements: leases must be at market rate with appropriate escalation clauses, to ensure that rents do not skyrocket.


Qualifying businesses must meet the 2010 Cudahy Comprehensive Plan and the 2009 Cudahy Market Analysis, and be approved by the Community Development Authority (CDA).


Mayor McCue says Cudahy has already made great strides toward improving the curb appeal and character of the downtown area.


Last summer the City launched its Façade Improvement Program, awarding up to $28,000 in design and construction grants to help commercial business and property owners reinvest in existing properties.


The first ten Façade Improvement Grants went quickly. Ten additional grants are available.

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