Red Deer’s Vacant Spaces Grant program has returned and is offering up to a $10,000 rental subsidy for entrepreneurs looking to set up shop downtown.  

The grant incentivizes the development of a unique, well-invested downtown where people and businesses thrive.   

“We were pleased with the initial uptake for the program and are excited to continue this funding opportunity, intended to enhance the downtown and showcase our city’s talented entrepreneurs,” said Bobby-Jo Stannard, Community Development Superintendent. “We look forward to seeing more exciting, new business concepts come to life through this program in 2024.”  

Funding will be prioritized for vacant downtown street level, storefront commercial spaces with business concepts in food and beverage, entertainment, and retail.  

Areas for applicant selection include vacant street level, storefront spaces along 50 Avenue between 48 Street and 53 Street, and spaces along 49 Street between 48 Avenue and 50 Avenue.  

A total of $36,000 is available in 2024 with a maximum of $10,000 per applicant.   

Last year, the program supported seven applicants, including two new businesses on priority streets and six new businesses in priority industries.  

Unsuccessful applicants were offered business coaching through Community Futures and were invited to apply during the next funding cycle.  

Applications opened on Feb. 15, and will continue until the end of the year, or until funds are depleted.   

More information is available on The City of Red Deer’s website here