Delaware Project Pop Up Successfully Wrapping Up Second Year - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Delaware Project Pop Up Successfully Wrapping Up Second Year

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MILTON, Del. - Start-up businesses in Delaware have been getting a big helping hand.  Imagine this three months of free rent!

"It's been my dream to open my own studio and To get out of the other gyms," says John Lehne, owner of 302 Fitness in Milton.  With the help of Delaware's Project Pop Up Program, Lehne is giving that dream a fighting chance.

Ken Anderson, Director of Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development for The Delaware Economic Development Office says "we have a belief system that as the rural towns in our state go, therein goes the rest of the state."

In 2012, the department launched a program, giving a handful of small businesses three months of free rent in a vacant store front, donated by building owners, in a number of Delaware's downtown communities.

Two of 2013's year's businesses are in downtown Milton.  

"When it's nice and early in the morning my lights are on, all the cars are slowing down to see there's a business here now," says Lehne, "they love seeing this is not an empty hole with a "for lease" sign."

If the fitness studio seems bare, it's all a part of the strategy for this new business owner.

"I want to pay down my debt, and make sure I have a nice little buffer for rent in the future and...get it going," says Lehne.

From the looks of it, things are going well.  Four of this year's pop up's have signed agreements to extend their lease past the first three months.

John says he's taking things one month at a time, but one thing he does know, "January I'm paying rent."

The full list of the 2013 pop-ups are below.

Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga, 127 NW Front St., Milford

302 Fitness, 113 Union St., Unit A, Milton

Milton Wellness Center, 113 Union St., Unit B, Milton

Royal Treatments, 14 S. Main St., Smyrna

Computers Fixed Today, 131 W. Loockerman St., Dover

For more information on Project Pop Up, visit their website.

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