LISTOWEL – The Listowel Business Improvement Area (BIA) put out an update regarding the ‘Win This Space’ 2022 event, announcing that the contest is cancelled after a tumultuous few years.
“We postponed this program several times,” the written update reads. “While we are now in a position where we could consider launching again, we face a new challenge of very limited commercial space available within the Listowel BIA.
“While this is a good problem to have it means that running this program would not achieve the results the program was established to create.”
The Win This Space contest gave $1,250 a month for a year to the winning business, intending to get as many new businesses into empty commercial spaces as possible. Those interested in the contest had to take mandatory training for six weeks and then present to judges on why they should win. It was a contest in which Listowel’s business community came together to help a new business, offering free advertising, free signage, etc.
McIntosh Farms Butcher Shop won the contest in 2018, the last to do so.
Lisa Schaefer, coordinator of the BIA, said that they postponed the event in later years due to the pandemic. Now that the pandemic is easing, they don’t have enough empty commercial spaces to run the program.
“We reached out to Libro regarding the Libro Prosperity Grant,” the update says. “(We) are pleased to announce that they have agreed to allow us to graciously keep the grant money for a new project. We have been approved to use the funds for a beautification project to help draw people to our downtown with a focus on art installations which are yet to be determined.
“The Listowel BIA Board is currently working to determine how to best use these funds in this capacity. We believe that this will enhance the pedestrian experience within the downtown and create a more liveable space enjoyed by residents, businesses, and visitors.”
More updates are to follow. Schaefer says that the Win this Space contest is a program that they will look to do in the future when public heath – and Listowel’s commercial space – permit.
Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner