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Small businesses in Morden will have a new avenue to break into the local retail scene.

Morden Community Development Corporation (MCDC) has received a Community Development Initiatives grant for $25,000. MCDC Business Development Specialist Chad Sheldon says this grant will help them move forward with their retail incubator mall initiative.

"It's creating a retail mall out of an empty space at this point," said Sheldon when asked how this grant helps.

The total investment for the entire project is around $125,000, with the City of Morden, MCDC, and this grant splitting the costs. The City will be paying $50,000, MCDC will cover $53,000 and the other $25,000 will be from the Provincial grant.

"It's under the Partners For Growth program," said Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen. "This program is designed to provide an incentive for just this type of project. To grow a local economy and to provide an opportunity for businesses to get ahead."

The initiative will be based out of the Pembina Connection, which is a new 15,000 square foot building located just east of the City of Morden and just north of the City of Morden 'Mosasaur' sign.

Of that 15,000 square feet, this project will take up 2,000 square feet, said Sheldon.

This retail incubator mall will be open to about 10-12 smaller retail spaces and three food vendors as well. These spots will be open for rent to small and businesses owners. The goal of this project is to help remove obstacles, provide mentorship, and to encourage people to start their own business within the City of Morden.

Sheldon says they hope to get more small businesses off the ground and help them grow. The grant will go directly toward the construction and outfitting of the retail spaces.

He adds these spaces will be available via an application process. To apply contact the MCDC office. The goal is to have the tenants selected and ready to open for April 30th.

"It's small business and business in general that is the economic driver of the community,'' said Sheldon.

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