DOVER, Vermont (WCAX) – Got a smart business idea, but lacking the money to start it? The ski town of Dover in southern Vermont may be the right place to try and make it work.
Like many cities in our region, Dover has been significantly affected by COVID-19, but officials are hoping to get creative when it comes to sparking new business.
When driving through central Dover you can’t help but notice many empty storefronts. Local officials say businesses haven’t necessarily closed because of the pandemic, but that hasn’t helped. “We were absolutely out of COVID, throughout the ski season,” said Eric Durocher, the city’s director of economic development.
The city’s local option tax revenue fell about 33%. But with the money it made, the city is now giving away a bunch of freebies as part of the Dover Launch Business Plan competition. Anyone can apply with an idea to start a new business. The best plan will receive $ 20,000 to get it started. “In addition to the $ 20,000, our local radio station, The Peak, also agreed to offer the winner $ 5,000 in free radio advertising,” said Durocher.
Dover’s best-known company is Mount Snow, but Durocher says a single business plan is likely to have the best chance of winning. “We don’t necessarily need another pizzeria or a ski shop. You know, we’re looking for something to complement the current mix of businesses, ”he said.
Heather Pease has owned a flower shop in town for two decades. “Constantly changing, it’s seasonal. So you have your downtime and uptime. You just take the current, ”she said. She is excited about the competitions and the possibility of another year-round business coming to the area. “I think maybe it’s more community. Maybe something for the younger ones, like children and the elderly.
Applications will be accepted until September 17th. Ultimately, three finalists will be selected and the winner will be announced in mid-November.
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