KSAT Money Q&A: Holiday incubator program to help small businesses explore downtown retail rent-free

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A new incubator program will give San Antonio small businesses a chance to explore retail selling during the holidays without having to pay rent in a downtown space.

SAN ANTONIO – A new incubator program will give San Antonio small businesses a chance to explore retail selling during the holidays without having to pay rent in a downtown space.

Centro San Antonio is a local nonprofit that works to make downtown more beautiful, prosperous and playful.

“If you’ve ever been downtown, you’ve probably seen our ambassadors. They are the wonderful men and women in yellow uniforms who make sure our city is clean and beautiful,” said Kailey DeLuca, Main Street navigator for Centro San Antonio. “We also do programs and placemaking activation and economic development.”

The organization is accepting applications until Aug. 31 for its new Holidays on Houston Street incubator program.

“The Holidays and Houston Street program is connecting local makers, artisans, artists, small businesses with the opportunity to pop up completely rent-free in an available retail space at one of our property partners downtown along Houston Street,” DeLuca said during a KSAT Money Q&A.

She said the program would allow small business owners to explore the realities of retail store management with a lower risk.

“Hopefully, they’ll decide that, you know, ‘Retail is the next step for my business. I’m ready, and I want to move downtown.’ So it’s really giving the small business owners a risk-free, or low-risk, opportunity to explore retail and activate and bring some energy to space downtown for the holidays,” DeLuca said.

She said Centro San Antonio is looking for all types of businesses for the incubator program, but it would most benefit those with some experience selling at local markets.

We’re really looking for businesses that have some experience. They know what it’s like to be at a market, but they’re just ready to expand their horizons but aren’t quite ready to sign a five, 10-year lease,” DeLuca said.

The incubator program will run from November 2022 to January 2023. Businesses have until Aug. 31 to submit an application for Centro San Antonio to consider.

Find out more information by visiting the Centro San Antonio website and on the informational PDF below.

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About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.