Two vacant commercial buildings here are getting a new lease on life, offering an opportunity for entrepreneurs to set up businesses through the efforts of Ontario investor/developer Gurmit Singh.
He owns the properties at 212 Main St. and 255 Norman Street in Palmerston.
Singh, who owns properties in numerous towns across Ontario, plans to complete renovations on the properties and establish businesses, which he hopes local entrepreneurs will then take over and run.
The owner will offer assistance, including financing, to interested entrepreneurs.
His vision for the Main Street property involves businesses such as a Sports bar and grill, laundromat, ice cream and donut shops.
The Norman Street location would be the site of a “wellness centre,” potentially including facilities for yoga, dance, massage therapy or other health/fitness-related ventures.
“We honestly believe this will be a dream-come-true opportunity for serious and genuine local entrepreneurs,” states Singh in promotional material for the developments.
Singh said the aim is “to bring prosperity to local communities.”
He states, “we all will benefit.
“The local communities will get the services they need, local entrepreneurs will be able to run their dream businesses and we will get good long-term tenants and operators of businesses.”
About 20 people attended a July 23 property launch event at the Main Street location hosted by Town of Minto.
“This event was an opportunity to celebrate the near completion of the commercial units and to meet the investor and hear his plans,” noted economic and business manager Belinda Wick-Graham.
She noted the former hotel building “sat vacant and deteriorating for many years. It was an eyesore in the heart of downtown Palmerston.”
In 2015 the Town of Minto introduced a structural grant program.
“We had numerous buildings in our downtowns that were in disrepair,” Wick-Graham explained.
“We had no usable space left in the downtowns to add new businesses. Without improving the building stock it would have been impossible to bring in new businesses.”
The grant program offers property owners the opportunity to access up to $40,000 to help revitalize deteriorating buildings.
212 Main St. has benefitted from this program, as have projects like the Old Post in Harriston.
“As result buildings are being brought back to life, businesses are starting and jobs are being brought back to the downtown core,” stated Wick-Graham.
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