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Shopping center owner offers free rent to incubate well-planned young firms

The owner of five shopping centers in Reno and Sparks is hoping to use 35 vacant spaces to incubate new small businesses.

Kimco Realty Corp. of New Hyde Park, N.Y., said last week it’s expanding a program known as Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start — “KEYS,” for short — into the Reno market.

The program provides a year of free rent, reduced property charges and access to a retail business counselor through Kimco. Participating entrepreneurs need to sign a four-year lease, develop a detailed and specific business plan and show that they have adequate funding to get their venture off the ground.



Kimco officials said it’s helpful for applicants to show that they’ve completed college or university classes in small business ownership as well. (For detailed application information, see http://www.KimcoKeys.com.)

The company said it attempts to match new businesses with the best available space — a new beauty shop in a space that already has some salon improvements in place, for instance. Most of the available spaces are 2,500 square feet or less, although some larger spaces in Kimco centers also are available.



Participating Kimco centers in Reno and Sparks include Meadowood Square, Caughlin Ranch and McQueen Crossings Shopping Center in Reno and Sparks Mercantile and D‘Andrea Marketplace in Sparks.

Kimco launched the program about a year ago in California and expanded it to include Colorado as well in June. Across Nevada, the company says the program involves about 45 spaces in 11 centers in the Reno-Sparks and Las Vegas markets.

NNBW staff