Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By Jessica Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
BIDDEFORD — Biddeford's downtown revitalization organization, Heart of Biddeford, named three winning businesses that will receive $20,000 incentive packages to open a business in downtown Biddeford before the 2012 holiday season.
The winners were Jennifer Thibeau and Wes Rhames' vegetarian restaurant concept called Dahlia's Delights, Michael Macomber's used bookstore/cafe by day that turns into a taproom/event space by night called Elements, and David and Rebekah Clark's handcarved wood store called Tote Road.
The prizes include a $10,000 forgivable loan from the city of Biddeford and a low-interest bank loan, in addition to benefits such as six months of free rent, legal services, tax consultation, Internet and phone, payroll, and website creation and hosting.
The judges reviewed 27 pitches before choosing the winners, which are required to open before Thanksgiving. There will be ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the businesses, and they will be featured during the Downtown Holiday Festival in Biddeford.
The two semifinalists who did not receive the incentive package were encouraged by Heart of Biddeford to continue with their business plans because although the judges had to make difficult decisions based on the criteria, Dana Johnson's Corner Bookstore concept and Union House Catering and Event space both hold great promise for success.