COLUMBIANA — A business trend is emerging locally, with the creation of pop-up shops in formerly empty storefronts.
City Manager Lance Willard said the idea was broached by consultant Deb Brown during her embedded experience in the city back in February.
Willard said he also learned more about the business venture on a trip to Seattle recently that was funded by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).
“The goal is to increase foot traffic and excitement. We want to create vibrancy and promote economic development. This is a win-win situation,” he said.
When Willard returned he discussed the idea with some local landlords and they were on board.
He said that realtor and landlord Rollin Gosney in particular was excited about the opportunity and was willing to participate.
The pop-up concept gives business owners an opportunity to try out new locations before potentially becoming more permanent, or just get their name and items before the public on a temporary basis.
Gosney previously purchased some of the vacant buildings along South Main Street in order to renovate them and bring new businesses.
One of those buildings is the former antiques store located at the corner of West Friend and South Main streets.
Now, after sitting empty for quite some time, the building will be home to more antiques, thanks to the can-do attitude of business owners Shane Miller and Tammy Youschak.
Willard said Miller started moving their items into the Antiques building recently.
Willard also said Patti Roller, who owns Main Street Shop next door to Antiques, volunteered to seek out vendors and spent many hours contacting individuals who would be interested in the pop-up shop idea.
“The learning session that I attended while in Seattle said they had as much as 75 percent placement of their pop-ups,” Willard said.
Pop-up shop space is still available in many of the vacant buildings. Direct inquiries should be directed to the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce at 330-482-3822 or by email to email@example.com