Welcome to Unlock the Block!

This is the application for business owners who wish to apply for the Unlock the Block 2019 initiative in downtown Dover, DE.

Unlock the Block is an initiative that serves as a catalyst to reduce vacancy and engage/support entrepreneurs in the Downtown Dover Business Improvement District, and specifically, first-floor commercial spaces on Loockerman Street and streets directly adjacent to Loockerman. This initiative encourages economic revitalization, facilitate re-development of first-floor commercial properties, and contributes to a vibrant downtown commercial district by securing owners of retail and professional goods and service businesses that have the capacity to serve/draw local and regional customers alike.

Target Audience for 2019 program:

If you are a very early stage business:  Please note that Unlock the Block is not targeted to very new or start-up business owners or those that are aspiring to own a business in the future.  If you fall into this category, we thank you for your interest and recommend that you visit "Kent County is Open For Business" where you will be connected with a variety of resource partners that can support you in your new venture.  Click here for more information.  

If you are a current, successfully operating business or have successfully operated a business in the past and are considering applying:  Unlock the Block is targeted to existing, successful business owners (in Dover or elsewhere) that have a proven track record.  We are seeking business owners that, 1.) can show an established, consistent customer base; 2.) have generated revenue in 2018 and project at least the same in 2019, or have generated revenue in 2019 and anticipate a similar or increasing revenue in 2020; 3.) are seriously considering one* of the following:

1.  Expanding into a brick and mortar from a very successful home-based, vending, or on-line business model and/or I have successfully operated a business in the past.
2. Expanding from one current brick and mortar space (in downtown Dover or elsewhere) into a new brick and mortar location in downtown Dover.
3. Expanding my square footage substantially within, or adjacent to, my existing downtown Dover brick and mortar space thus I am expanding my overall business model.
4. Expanding my current business inventory (for instance you now sell women's shoes, and you ready to sell men's shoes in the same location.  You may be, but are not necessarily taking additional space to accommodate the new inventory or line of products.)
5. Opening an entirely new business, and am keeping my existing business open.  (For instance, you now sell cosmetics and you are planning to open a separate, new business location selling office supplies.)

* In addition to fitting into one of the scenarios above, you must be planning to be established and selling from the new location by or before March 31, 2020.

Those that meet pre-qualification requirements will advance to "next steps" and agree to the following be evaluated to determine suitability and readiness to participate in Unlock the  Block either via:

1. A live "Pitch Contest" where they will present their business concept, business readiness and intent to participate in a juried process consisting of Unlock the Block small business partners and property owner(s) that make up the Unlock the Block "project team." More information to follow regarding dates and details of pitch contest(s).

OR

2. An alternative meeting(s) with one or more representatives of the Unlock the Block "project team,

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* 1. Applicant First Name

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* 2. Applicant Last Name

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* 3. Email Address

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* 4. Cell Number

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* 5. Business Number

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* 6. Business email address

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* 7. Name of Business

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* 8. I have read the prerequisite items that were listed at the beginning of this questionnaire and believe I am qualified to proceed with a full application:

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* 9. Home Address

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* 10. Where is your business currently located?

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* 11. What is the legal structure of your business?

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* 12. Briefly describe your business type:  (For example, barber, home health care, food/restaurant/take-out, etc.)

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* 13. Briefly describe your business operation.

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* 14. Current number of employees (including yourself):

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* 15. How many people comprise your customer base?

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* 16. Do you have an email contact list for your customers?

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* 17. Last year's business revenue (2018).  If you were not in business in 2018, indicate so here:

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* 18. Projected business revenue for this year (2019):

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* 19. A "guess-timate" (projected) business revenue for next year (2020):

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* 20. Provide your business FEIN: (Do NOT provide a SS#)

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* 21. I am interested in being considered for the following property(ies): Check all that apply.  (CLICK HERE FOR A LIST AND DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT PROPERTIES.)

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* 22. I have completed and/or spoken with the following:

VERY IMPORTANT!

Your application is not complete until you file three documents electronically:

1.  Business Plan
2. "One-Pager" describing an overview of your business concept.  Not to exceed one page.  
3. Financial statement for the business, including at least TWO years of revenues.  (Include at least two from: past (2018); and/or current with projection (2019); and/or projected (2020.)

The above documents must be sent electronically to Diane@DowntownDoverPartnership.com

All members of the Unlock the Block "project team," including those that serve as judges in the Pitch Contest will have access to your complete application, including answers to the questions herein, the Business Plan, the One-Pager, and Financial statement/revenues.  

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* 23. By checking the box below, you are indicating that upon submission of this application, you are affirming that the information you've provided is true and accurate, to the best of your ability, and that you will comply with the processes/procedures of the program, including photography of you/your business, etc., for Unlock the Block marketing and promotional purposes.  You also understand that information you provide about your business will be held in confidence among members of the Unlock the Block project team, which is comprised of small business resource partners.

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* 24. Where did you learn of Unlock the Block? (Check all that apply.)

Thank you for your interest in Unlock the Block and considering expanding your business in downtown Dover.    We look forward to working with you!

Questions? Contact Diane@DowntownDoverPartnership.com or Tina@downtowndoverpartnership.com or RickFerrell@hotmail.com or call 302-678-2940.

To visit the Unlock the Block project website to view videos, available properties, etc., click here.

Partners and sponsors of Unlock the Block:
Downtown Dover Partnership
City of Dover
Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce
Delaware Division of Small Business 
NCALL - Restoring Central Dover
Small Business Development Center/Small Business Administration
TruAccess Capital (Formerly First State Community Loan Fund)

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