New Fort Wayne pilot program launched to promote entrepreneurship

Photo Supplied - City of Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – New details have been released for a pilot project designed to promote entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne.

The Summit City Match pilot program aims to match emerging entrepreneurs with building spaces, help revitalize Fort Wayne’s commercial corridors, and start up technical assistance and gap grant opportunities.

The pilot’s goals are to encourage the launch of more small businesses within the Summit City by leasing empty retail and commercial space.

The program will also work to revitalize the South Calhoun Street commercial corridor. Summit City Match will connect businesses with vacant building space on the street between Murray Street and Rudisill Boulevard.

The goal is to fill six or more vacant businesses and make up to six grants for a minimum total of $200,000. The plan is to leverage more than $500,000 in private investment from business and building owners.

Matched businesses will have the opportunity to apply for gap funding, and will be eligible for technical assistance in the following areas: legal, accounting, human resources, permitting/licensing, business registration, business plan writing and marketing.

Summit City Match outreach includes a special emphasis on recruiting women and people of color to participate in the program.

The pilot is funded by the City of Fort Wayne and a grant from the JPMorgan Chase & Co., and is being administered by the City’s Summit City Entrepreneurship & Enterprise District (SEED).

Business owners and entrepreneurs interested in the Summit City Match program can apply online at SummitCityMatch.com by June 30. Printed applications are available at the offices of Fort Wayne Urban Enterprise Association, Inc. on Wayne Trace.

Building and business owner matches will be announced this August.

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