Any entrepreneur knows one of the challenges of starting a small business is finding a way to come up with rent each month.
For one lucky downtown Ithaca business, that dream could become a reality– a competition is being offered for local businesses where the grand prize is free rent for a year.
Darlynne Overbaugh, owner of Life’s So Sweet chocolate, was lucky enough to win a 2011 competition where she was able to get free rent for a year.
She credits a lot of her success to the competition– and her business is still thriving six years later.
The winner of this year’s competition gets a storefront right next door to Life’s So Sweet with the hope they won’t just stay here for one year, instead making Ithaca their permanent home.
“We want them to succeed. We want to do everything we can to make sure this is as successful as possible for them,” said Downtown Ithaca Alliance president Gary Ferguson.
Ithaca’s Downtown Alliance sponsors the competition and provides mentoring for the winner.
The ultimate prize is worth about $40,000.
The winner of this year’s Race for the Space will be announced by early December, with the new shop opening by spring 2018.