‘It Starts Here’ gets four applicants, deadline extended

The “It Starts Here” downtown-revitalization project to fill empty store fronts in the city of Princeton received four application it’s November 30 deadline.

But the deadline was extended to January 31, 2013 on Tuesday with a hope of attracting more suitors.

The project had set up a competition for applicants to compete for one of three grand prizes, each prize consisting of up to $20,000 in incentives to locate a business downtown.

Each grand prize winner would have to either start a new business, create a second or third satellite business from an existing location in another town, or significantly expand a current Princeton downtown business to include an additional business concept.

One of the applicants was Tim Siercks, who with wife Mindi Siercks, own and operate Minuteman Press in downtown Princeton.

Tim Siercks said that he and Mindi are interested in leasing a building that would house their current business, and also an office supply business, something Princeton doesn’t have.

The city of Princeton appropriated $30,000 for the “It Starts Here” project, in which a $10,000 forgivable loan could be awarded to each of up to the project’s potential three grand prize winners. The recipient would have to have their business open by Sept. 1, 2013 unless an extension is requested in writing by Aug. 1, 2013.

Each of three grand prize winners could also gain up to $10,000 more in incentives beyond the $10,000 forgivable loan. Those extra incentives include: 200 commercials on WQPM Radio over a three-month period ($2,000 value), chamber of commerce membership and a year of free advertising in the chamber’s Focus publication ($700 value), Dave Patten Architects landscape architectural services consultation and sketches ($500 value), legal services from Berry Law Offices ($700 value), 10 hours of payroll training from Manke Business Services ($500 value), portraits for a business website or for business cards from Skaalerud Photography ($650 value), a number of printing services from Minuteman Press ($500 value), reduced rents at certain properties if committing to a 3-5 year lease ($3,500 value), storefront signage design from Dave Patten Architects ($300 value), one hour of filming and discounted editing services to complete an advertising video from Bunch of Berry’s Production ($400 value), and website services from WQPM ($250 value).