The Go Downtown Grow Downtown, Great Space Giveaway Promotion from the Greater Downtown Council of Duluth is aimed at serving as a catalyst to encourage entrepreneurs to submit their retail business concept for consideration and to open a storefront along Superior Street in the heart of Duluth’s Downtown.


  • To assist with the opening of one new destination business, and one expanding business (second or third location) within Duluth’s Downtown. It is also hoped this campaign will attract multiple new retail businesses to the Downtown. Retail businesses also include food/eateries.
  • Showcase the broad variety of business opportunities within Downtown Duluth.
  • Fill available retail space with businesses that complement the area’s existing mix as well as show potential to stand out.

Two Grand Prizes:
The businesses with the winning submittals (“Grand Prize Winners”) receive:

  • Free rent for the first 12 months of a 3‐year Lease Term, excluding common area maintenance (“CAM”) expenses, utilities and taxes in a to‐be‐determined prime retail space along Superior Street
  • One year free advertising package with the Duluth News Tribune
  • Free marketing services provided by Out There Advertising
  • Free start-up business consulting and $5,000 loan (3% interest/3 year) from the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund
  • Free monthly retail mentoring services provided by maurices
  • Free one year membership with the Greater Downtown Council
  • Exposure to various media outlets during the announcement of the winning submittals.

Total package estimated value: More than $55,000!

Guidelines and Application Procedures to Enter:

This is a two-phase contest. In the first phase, applicants are asked to provide a two-page business concept which includes an executive summary (in 100 words or less) and also answers the following:

Phase 1—Business Concept

  • Describe the nature of your business and the products/merchandise you would carry or deliver
  • Define your market (who would be an early user/customer)
  • How would your business enhance Downtown Duluth
  • What resources would be needed to develop this concept (personnel, financing, equipment, etc)
  • What are your qualifications to develop/expand this business

If your business concept advances through the initial judging, you will be asked to move on to the second phase of the contest and provide the following:

Phase 2—Business Plan
A detailed business plan featuring:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Summary
  • Products/ Services Summary
  • Market Analysis Summary
  • Strategies & Implementation Summary
  • Management Summary
  • Financial Plan
  • A community impact summary stating:
  • How your business will enhance Downtown Duluth
  • How your business can benefit existing businesses within the Downtown
  • Why your business stands out


  • The Go Downtown Grow Downtown Promotion is open to all legal U.S. residents, 18 years of age or older at the time of entry.
  • Proposed retail businesses can be independent operations or franchised.
  • If the proposed business concept features an expansion of an existing business, then the proposed expansion must be new to Downtown Duluth and can only be the second or third store in the portfolio.
  • Employees and temporary employees of the GDC or other Contest sponsors and the immediate family of each, are not eligible for entry.
  • All business concept submissions must be emailed, delivered, or postmarked to the Greater Downtown Council by 5:00 p.m. on Monday February 28, 2011.
  • Willingness to commit to a 3‐year Lease with sponsor Oneida Realty or other participating property owners, terms of which are to be mutually negotiated within 30 days of selection.

How to Enter:

  • All business proposals can be emailed to or mailed or delivered to:
  • Go Downtown Grow Downtown
    c/o Greater Downtown Council
    5 West First Street
    Duluth, MN 55802

  • Entries must be clearly identified on the package or email that it is part of the Go Downtown Grow Downtown Promotion.
  • No sample products shall be included with the initial business proposal.


  • Business concepts are due February 28, 2011. All that meet the required criteria will be submitted to the Selection Committee for review and judging.
  • The committee will consist of a representation of Downtown Duluth property owners, business leaders, and community leaders.
  • The business concept finalists will be notified on March 3rd. Finalists will be offered free services from the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund to compete in phase 2 of the contest (Business Plan):
    • A training class, “Go Downtown, Grow Downtown – Creating a successful business plan” for those who are interested
    • Business Plan Consulting to assist in the development of their business plan

Business Plans are due June 1st, 2011.

Selection Criteria:

  • Uniqueness of concept
  • Feasibility of Business Plan
  • Ability to execute Business Plan
  • Compatibility with vision for Downtown Duluth
  • Ability to attract other businesses to Downtown Duluth
  • Visual appeal from street level

Promotion’s Official Rules and Regulations:

  • The Promotion shall begin on January 19, 2011 and all business concept entries must be received at the address indicated by no later than 5:00 p.m. CST time on February 28, 2011. Applications received past the deadline will not be considered for this Promotion.
  • The Promotion’s Sponsors reserve the right to extend the Promotion date for selecting and notifying the two Grand Prize Winners.
  • Grand Prize is non‐transferable and may not be redeemed for cash; substitutions by Grand Prize Winner may not be requested.
  • Grand Prize will not include and Grand Prize Winner shall assume responsibility for the payment of all other items including, but not limited to insurance, rental tax, permits, and legal fees.
  • In accordance with IRS Code regarding prizes and awards, a Form 1099‐MISC may be issued by Sponsor to the Grand Prize Winner. Please consult your tax advisor for additional information.
  • Printed copies of business proposals submitted into the Promotion will not be returned. All business proposals will be kept confidential.
  • The selection committee formed by the GDC will judge the business concepts and business plans.
  • If the Guidelines and Application for Entry have not been met, the Proposal will not be presented to the Selection Committee.
  • If selected as a finalist in Phase 1, applicant will receive consultation to develop a business plan and may have an opportunity to present their business plan to the Selection Committee in person.
  • By participating in this Promotion, you agree to these Official Rules and to all decisions of Sponsors and the Selection Committee, which are final and binding in all respects.
  • If a Grand Prize Winner is unreachable after fifteen (15) business days, an alternate Grand Prize Winner will be selected.
  • The Greater Downtown Council reserves the right to use the information provided to contact all entrants with information about available retail spaces in Downtown Duluth and use the Grand Prize Winners’ names, likeness, picture, portrait, voice, biographical information and written submissions and written or oral statements, for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation unless required by law.
  • By accepting the Grand Prize, the Winners release and discharge Sponsors, their affiliated companies, participating sponsors, information providers, content providers, subsidiaries, advertisers, advertising agencies, promotional and marketing agencies, and any other companies involved with or otherwise providing services related to this promotion, and all their respective employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents from any liability or damage due in whole or in part to the award, acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the Grand Prize or from participation in this Promotion.
  • Information regarding the Grand Prize winners will be posted to within 30 days of the selection.


  • By entering the Promotion, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors, which shall be final and binding in all respects. The Official Rules will be posted at throughout the promotion.
  • Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual or business they find tampering with the entry process, or the operation of the Web site; or to be acting in violation of the Official Rules.

Go Downtown Grow Downtown Time Line

  • January 19, 2011
  • February 28, 2011
  • March 3, 2011
  • June 1, 2011
  • June 15, 2011
  • Call for Business Concepts
  • Deadline for Business Concepts
  • Finalists announced to advance to business plan competition
  • Deadline for Business Plans
  • Two Grand Prize Winners Announced

Go Downtown Grow Downtown is a program of the Greater Downtown Council, sponsored by:

  • Duluth News Tribune
  • maurices
  • Northeast Entrepreneur Fund
  • Oneida Realty
  • Out There Advertising