TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A new initiative from Launch Terre Haute is looking to fill building vacancies throughout the city with new business owners.
The initiative, called ‘Launch Pad’, will be a business pitch competition where prospective business owners will submit ideas to a Launch Terre Haute panel that will be reviewed on Sept. 10. That list will be dwindled down to the best ideas, and the winner will be revealed in early October.
Launch Terre Haute Director Jared Ell said the competitive atmosphere will create the best business possible to fill current vacancies downtown.
“Iron sharpens iron and this competition will help develop those businesses,” Ell said. “We’re hoping that the cream of the crop kind of raises up and that we can help develop those.”
Business ideas that make it past the Sept. 10 review will receive strategic help from Launch Terre Haute officials before the final decision is made in October.
“If you have an idea, this is your moment and we will help you through the business plans,” Ell said.
The selected business idea will receive a discounted rate to rent current available property. The first property available is located at 425 Wabash Avenue and is owned by The Saratoga. Building manager Alexis Green embraced the chance to help build downtown Terre Haute.
“When Launch came to us, we were really excited about the thought of bringing another business downtown,” Green said. “We’ve been in business for almost 80 years so the fact that we could be a small part of building up downtown was pretty much a no brainer for us.”
Launch Terre Haute is looking for partners, such as The Saratoga, as it looks to expand the initiative.
“We need other partners like this,” Ell said. “Once we prove that this works at this location, we’re definitely open to opening that up to more locations across the Wabash Valley.”
If you’re interested in participating, visit the Launch Terre Haute website for more information.