New Decatur-Based Program Created To Help Small Business Owners Move Into Retail Space

Shirley Baylis, the downtown program manager for the City of Decatur, discusses the goals and application process for the Decatur Downtown Development Authority’s newly created retail recruitment incubator program.

Courtesy of Shirley Baylis

There’s a new push to make sure small business owners are successful.

The Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA) recently approved 25,000 to launching a retail recruitment incubator program.

Shirley Baylis, the Downtown Program Manager for the City of Decatur, who also wrote the program, says the goal of the initiative is to recruit more retail businesses into a brick-and-mortar location downtown.

Baylis, a guest on Wednesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” told show host Rose Scott that the pilot program will bring together six small business owners who will lease a shared space.

Baylis says the DDA will cover half of the lease cost and business owners will be paired with mentors, receive monthly training and other resources.

“We don’t want to put these people into a space and leave them,” explained Baylis. “We want them to have the Decatur experience as a business owner and to be able to really them through this process.”

Business owners can apply for the pilot from August 16 through Sept. 5.

To listen to the full conversation, click the audio player above.