Ontario expands its Pop-Up Retail program to help entrepreneurs get started as part of the City’s downtown renaissance

June 05, 2024

Press Contact:             Jennifer McLain Hiramoto, Executive Director, Economic Development
Phone Number:           (909) 395-2295
Date:                            June 5, 2024


Ontario expands its Pop-Up Retail program to help entrepreneurs get started as part of the City’s downtown renaissance

The Ontario Economic Development Agency is accepting applications for the second round of its popular Downtown Retail Pop-Up Program, open to small businesses looking to grow into brick-and-mortar stores.

Under the program, which was piloted this past year, the City will offer selected businesses short-term rental of City-owned commercial tenant space for $1 monthly for up to six months, including free utilities and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The available tenant spaces are located in the heart of downtown Ontario on busy Euclid Avenue. Selected applicants must provide proof of general liability insurance, apply for all necessary permits, sign a release of liability waiver and Right of Entry permit, and make a refundable deposit of $1/square foot. 

The Downtown Retail Pop-Up Program is designed to bolster the retail sector in the historic central business district by providing selected applicants with technical support in obtaining permits, marketing assistance, introductions to the Downtown Ontario Improvement Association (DOIA), and the opportunity to test the local market. Last year, 22 applicants vied for two locations, and the city expects the interest of this program to continue.

“This unique program is part of the City’s ongoing investment in the renaissance of downtown Ontario – in this case, by providing entrepreneurs an opportunity to expand their business without the high start-up costs,” said Jennifer McLain Hiramoto, Ontario’s Executive Director of Economic Development.

One couple who took advantage of the program this past year were Jonas and Eva Nakas, who opened Craft Collective at 137 N. Euclid Blvd. in a building that once housed Gemmel’s Home Medical Equipment. The store displays, and markets, dozens of one-of-a-kind pieces from the Nakas’ network of artists.

“We’re really happy with what the city is doing. We’re excited to be part of the revival of downtown and to elevate the local arts community,” Jonas said. “Right now, we have about 40 vendors in here, and we get new ones every week.”

Over the past several years, the City has invested millions of dollars in property acquisitions, infrastructure improvements, and redevelopment projects. The current projects in the pipeline will bring a total of 750 new employees, 600 new residential units, 13,000 square feet of commercial and an expanded University of La Verne campus. All these efforts aim to energize the authentic and historic downtown into a vibrant, walkable 18-hour downtown.

 Downtown Ontario Retail Pop-up Program application submissions are due June 24, 2024. For detailed program guidelines and program application, visit https://www.ontariothinksbusiness.com/DowntownRetailPopUp.

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About the City of Ontario

The City of Ontario is enhancing the quality-of-life by creating urban lifestyle districts that create sustainable places to live, work and play.  Located just east of Los Angeles and Orange counties, the City of Ontario is ideally situated as a gateway to Southern California. With major freeways, rail transportation and an International Airport, Ontario invites the rest of the world to be a part of a culturally diverse community with rich history that is well positioned for quality development and economic sustainability for its residents. Complementing its business and residential core, Ontario offers premium entertainment venues such as the Ontario Convention Center, Toyota Arena, and Ontario Mills. To learn more about the City of Ontario, visit OntarioCA.gov  or call (909) 395-2000.

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