A Los Alamos Retail Accelerator program will start in September to help entrepreneurs launch retail businesses in Los Alamos.

Los Alamos lost several small businesses during the pandemic, and the city has challenges in attracting small businesses to town, said Lauren McDaniel, director of Los Alamos MainStreet, which supports businesses through promotions and incentives to revitalize downtown Los Alamos.

MainStreet is accepting applications until Friday at LosAlamosMainStreet.com/retail-accelerator and is seeking six to eight participants.

The free program includes five to seven weeks of training and free rent, utilities and merchandising-display costs in a vacant Los Alamos storefront that could open in November.

“We want to pull entrepreneurs out of the woodwork who might be hesitant to start a business,” McDaniel said. “We want to de-risk an entrepreneur’s entry into the Los Alamos market.”

The training includes navigating the permitting process, storefront design, interior layout, merchandising, point-of-sale and marketing, she said.

Los Alamos has about 51,000 square feet of vacant retail space, not including the empty former Smith’s Food & Drug and Bealls stores, McDaniel said.

The program is funded by a $15,000 state Local Economic Assistance and Development Support Program grant and is a partnership among Los Alamos MainStreet, New Mexico MainStreet and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.

(2) comments

Dan Frazier

One of the challenges seems to be that it is hard to find online descriptions of available commercial rental spaces. I have only been able to find a very few.

Khal Spencer

"...not including the empty former Smith’s Food & Drug and Bealls stores..."

What I recall was a previous County Council was so desperate to get someone to develop retail on the old LA Schools property that it let Smith's put up a superstore on the new development while not making sure the old Mari-Mac mall under Smith's control could be put to a better use. That old shopping center has been sitting derelict for years and I blame the county.

The whole east end of the town, i.e., the dead mall, the dead motel, etc, is an eyesore. You would think a town of rocket scientists could do better. Nope.


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