Challenges of adding businesses to empty spaces

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. Many businesses including the Shed, Whiskey Creek and the addition of Herbergers in a few months, closed their doors which leaves an empty lot waiting to be filled. For many spaces, they have been open for years.

“It’s a very slow process,” said Starr Lehl, Economic Development Director. “Economic development just takes time and you have to foster those relationships. The business will probably visit the community three or four times. With all of the decision making, putting the financials together and all of that, it doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process.”

The green paper gives a lot of businesses problems when attempting to stay open.

“It’s a show me the money type of thing,” explained Keith Ellis, Community and Economic Development Director. “It always has to do with having enough funding to get through a tough period of starting a business. It’s usually a three to five year period of time before their actually in a place where they are stable enough to start making some money off of it.”

Not only does the closure of the business affect the community, but other businesses looking to start themselves.

“When a large retail business moves out, we don’t get that sales tax revenue and that’s what funds our economic development,” said Lehl.

The product you are promoting may not always be the product someone might need.

“You have to have the right product if you want to sell,” explained Ellis. “That takes some study and some thinking. “A lot of people have a passion for certain things but that doesn’t necessarily equal to something that someone else might purchase or need.”

A business might be interested in a space but one of the biggest challenges is the space might be too big for their smaller company. Some businesses are willing to negotiate their terms.

“We are willing to make any changes that are necessary or accommodations for whichever business decides to come in here,” explained Amy Brown, Owner of Bluffs Sanitary and Supply.

With the need of businesses within the area, many open areas are looking to split large establishments into two which adds more options for the community.

If you have an idea of starting your own business, you can contact Twin City Development and they will give you the steps you need to get established.