Kimco KEYS Program Provides Opportunity for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Seeking to Launch their First Re

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Kimco Realty Corp. (Kimco) announced the launch of another small business through the Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start (KEYS) program – Carlsbad’s Build-It-Workshops held its grand opening on Friday.

KEYS is a small business incubator program developed by Kimko.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Kimco owned interests in 896 shopping centers comprising 131 million square feet of leasable space across 44 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and South America. KEYS launched in California, where Kimco owns over 110 shopping centers consisting of over 3,200 stores and 19.3 million square feet of leasable space.

The company says that it is actively seeking startup entrepreneurs and first-time business owners to apply to the program, which currently has over a hundred small shops (2,500 square feet and under) available for KEYS participants, including many pre-built restaurant spaces.

KEYS will place qualified applicants into Kimco shopping centers with one year of free rent and additional benefits such as affordable property charges to minimize initial overhead; access to personal Kimco retail business counselors; a flexible four-year lease option after the first year; as well as access to shop space in established retail centers. In addition, Kimco says that it will provide operational and financial support through the critical startup incubation years to better ensure the success of these first-time business owners.

Kimco has developed relationships with established educational organizations such as SCORE, the California Small Business Development Center, Kauffman FastTrac, and others that offer business resources and networking support.

The KEYS program seeks entrepreneurs who plan to open their first store, restaurant, or other concept (but not franchise companies), who have adequate funding for the venture, a written Business Plan with detailed business goals and who have the ability to articulate their plan for success in an interview. A certificate, endorsement, or letter of completion verifying entrepreneurial classes completed from an SBA sponsored business association, college, university or appropriate training organization is encouraged, but not required.

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