The Rent Abatement Program promotes and encourages the recruitment of business into downtown Brandon by providing funding directly to small business owners in the form of rent assistance, which helps to lower lease rates and makes it even more desirable to locate downtown. The program’s goal is to help reactivate retail in the city’s core and to create opportunities for retailers to test the downtown market. The Brandon Downtown Development Corporation is not only committed to assisting small business owners get started, but also to thrive.
The program helps to subsidize a tenant’s rent in a downtown space by funding one month’s rent per year over the length of the lease agreement. A business owner must make a minimum 2-year commitment to remain in the space in order to be eligible for funding and the value of rent assistance is dependent upon the length of the lease agreement. The Brandon Downtown Development Corporation will provide rent assistance to a business for a maximum of 5 years and property owners must match the development corporation’s contribution through a free rent grace period. The existence of this program has been fundamental in attracting new businesses into the downtown, such as a boutique cycling studio, restaurants, a bakery and a bridal dress store.