COZAD – Cozad Development Corporation (CDC) has announced an interesting strategy to attract a new business to town. They have launched a promotion called, “Pitch it in Cozad, Win this Space.” CDC is asking for people to pitch a business idea, and compete for a space downtown. The winner will have free rent in addition to the leasehold improvements for one year in a building on the city’s Main Street. In addition to free rent the building will be renovated to suit their business needs. They will also receive free professional help to get their idea off the ground. Help is in the form of free legal services to get their business entity set-up, free services from a CPA to set up their book keeping procedures using Quickbooks, access to a business coach for the entire first year, and classes to help with writing the business plan. Other prizes include help promoting their business through a generous donation from KRVN and a year’s membership to the Cozad Chamber of Commerce. Total prize package is valued at over $20,000.
The building is located at 813 Meridian and has lots of charm. Total area is over 3,300 square feet. It was built in 1918 and has hidden treasures like an old tin ceiling and sky light. The building was recently updated with new windows, and a new heating and cooling system. It is located on a block that has seen four new businesses start up and be successful in the past two years.
“This contest is aimed at that person that quits their job in their head every day, but still shows up for work. It really is for someone that has an idea, but for whatever reason never acted on it,” said Jen McKeone, Executive Director of Cozad Development Corporation. “We are trying to eliminate some of the risk, and help someone jump through the hoops of opening a business while adding another asset to our downtown.”
Pitching an idea is simple, send an email, write a letter, post a video or any form of communication that explains what the business idea is about. It does not have to be a new business, just new to Cozad. The top five ideas will be selected to compete more formally by submitting a business plan. The Cozad Development Corporation will be hosting a Business Plan writing class along with the Rural Enterprise Assistance Program to coincide with contest deadlines. The finalists will also be asked to “pitch their idea” to our panel of judges.
“No idea is too simple or too crazy,” said McKeone. “This really is about creativity, sustainability, and fulfilling dreams.” Deadline for submission is May 1, 2018. For more information, a website has been created called pitchitincozad.com.