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A Hand-up With a Pop-Up: LB Economic Development Department Seeks to Help Small Start-Ups with Free Retail Space

Release Date: 2019-09-05

By: Cory Bilicko

It may sound like just a dream for small-business entrepreneurs, but, beginning next month, the City of Long Beach will offer 900 square feet of retail space to several local start-ups– free of charge.

The Corner Pop-Up, located at 2640 E. Anaheim St., will officially open Thursday, Oct. 24 and will be available from Thursday to Sunday for several consecutive weekends at a time to small businesses that apply, qualify and participate in an orientation program.

“The Corner Pop-Up is a place to experience Long Beach’s entrepreneurial scene, where residents and visitors can discover new, locally developed products and services as they launch,” states the city’s webpage for the project. “The creative space is an innovative partnership among the City of Long Beach, LINC Housing and Pacific Gateway that combines entrepreneurial support, youth programming and workforce development.”

Semira Araya, business-development specialist in the city’s Economic Development Department, explained that the idea emerged about two years ago from the city council’s adoption of the Blueprint for Economic Development, which has seven focus areas.

“Two very important focus areas that relate to the work that we do are business assistance and economic inclusion,” Araya said. “There are a number of objectives and recommendations listed there, and a lot of it is around supporting local entrepreneurs, helping them break down some of the barriers to entry. So, we found that, a lot of times, businesses don’t have the resources they need to start up and grow: access to space, access to technical assistance, access to capital. 

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