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Businesses can get rent-free storefronts in Queen City Pop-Up program

City officials have issued a new call for local small businesses to participate in the next round of the Queen City Pop-Up retail program in downtown Buffalo.

The initiative is designed to grow businesses along Main Street, while giving new life to long-vacant storefronts by offering newer retailers a chance to test their wares in the marketplace, rent-free, for two months. Prior participants in the last few rounds have reported their retail sales rose by more than 50 percent, while their customer count increased. Eight participants have even opened permanent locations.

The program, launched by the city and administered by the Buffalo Urban Development Corp., is also supported by Buffalo Place and Working for Downtown.

The 2016 Holiday Edition of the program will take place from Nov. 10 through Dec. 24, and will again be hosted at 50 Fountain Plaza – formerly the KeyCenter – along the 500 block of Main Street. The two-tower 423,000-square-foot complex is owned by Erwin Zafir’s Key Success LLC and managed by Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.

Retailers who wish to participate can fill out an application, which are available through BUDC’s office at 95 Perry St. or online at www.buffalourbandevelopment.com. Proposals are due to Brandye Merriweather at BUDC by 4 p.m. on Oct. 17.

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