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Macomb hosts competition in effort to bring in new business

A new effort is in place to bring more businesses to the Tri-States. It’s happening in downtown Macomb, where aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to start their business.

Thursday, the city of Macomb is making an effort to fill empty businesses all around downtown. They’re doing so, by giving one business owner the chance to launch a new business with the help of some big incentives.

"I’m quite nervous, yes," Entrepreneur Charla Wrenn said. "I am very ready."

"Everybody says how much Macomb really needs a brewery, and they want me to do it," Entrepreneur Sean West said.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are competing tonight for a chance to make their business a reality in downtown Macomb. 

"I have a choice of two spots that I’ve been considering," Wrenn said. "One of them would be perfect and I could be open in a short amount of time, possibly even by homecoming."

Wrenn is a baker and hopes to win over judges Thursday night. Wrenn sees the empty buildings in downtown as an opportunity for a bakery.

"I found that the more places that people have a choice to go, that the more people actually go in an area to shop there," Wrenn said.

Downtown Development Director of Macomb Kristin Terry said that this is all in an effort to fill vacant buildings like this one and that this is a big opportunity to brings business downtown.

"It’s another business that came to Macomb that will help Macmob thrive, so we have made our goal no matter what," Terry said. "My goal is for people to start their business downtown."

The seven finalists will take the stage tonight and present a business pitch to the judges. The winner gets 28,000 dollars in incentives, including six months of free rent, 3,500 dollars cash from Macomb Downtown Development, free phones, internet service and advertising. 

Wrenn said she’s ready to make downtown Macomb her new bakery’s home. 

"It’s already got a kitchen, minimal amount of equipment, some paint, elbow grease," Wrenn said. "Just have to clean it up and set it up and start baking."

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