The City of Guthrie has been awarded two $50,000 grants, one from T-Mobile and the other being federally funded, to fund the construction of a pop-up shop park in downtown Guthrie. The park is to serve the community as a beautiful gathering space complete with pavilion, benches, picnic tables and shade trees.
The pop-up shop park will also serve as a retail incubator for local start-ups. This creates a simpler path for small retailers to begin producing and selling goods in a low-risk environment, in hopes that they grow and move into traditional brick-and-mortar stores in our community.
The City held a small ceremony to make the announcement last week.
“We see the issue as we’re walking around downtown, there are so many empty buildings. Lots of small businesses try to get started in downtown but end up closing after a few years. We want to break this cycle,” said Economic Development Director, Shawnda Rooney. “Creating this program will bring both diversity and stability to our downtown retail and we are so excited to see what this program can do.”
T-Mobile has committed up to $25 million over a 5-year period to revitalize small, rural communities through the T-Mobile Hometown Grant Program. The federal funding comes from a department that services rural communities in providing funding for the start-up, training, and technical assistance for small businesses.
“We are so excited for this project, we can confidently say that it will be up and running by spring of 23’ but we’re hoping on completing it even sooner. We will open the application process when the project is almost completed, so small businesses, stay tuned!” – Rooney. “With the federal funding, T-Mobile grant, and the commitment of in-kind labor from the City of Guthrie, we will create a vibrant community space that will enhance the atmosphere of Guthrie’s historic downtown.”