The WhatDiscover our Visionary side.

This is a regional competition providing an incentive package worth up to $40,000 for one selected retail business that will open in Vancouver’s Main Street corridor by May 2020, creating a launchpad for the area’s next creative and entrepreneurial retail idea.

The Why Discover our Diverse side.


  • Recruit a retail or service experience that provides a new dimension to Downtown Vancouver as a regional destination.
  • Provide that business with support during the toughest year of operation (the first year).
  • Strengthen our local economy by attracting unique and specialty businesses.
  • Transform an empty storefront into a more attractive and beneficial location.
  • Build a “buzz” that promotes Downtown Vancouver as a great place to launch a business.
  • Demonstrate VDA’s ability to provide a return through a collaborative investment in our Downtown.

Practically speaking, we aim to increase foot traffic along Main Street and provide more of the goods and services Vancouverites want and need, while also bringing committed, passionate new partners into our fold. In the end, our Downtown, with ever-increasing diversity and perspectives, will choose which concept best fits this mission.

The Where Discover our Local side.   Partnering property owners will identify “Featured sites”, or spaces eligible for introductory rate through the Downtown Launchpad.

  • Primary Preference will be given to applicants focused on the Main Street corridor.
  • Secondary Preference will be given to applicants focused in 6th street corridor
  • Tertiary preference will be given to applicants focused south of Mill Plain, between I5 and Kauffman.

The How Discover our Intrepid side.

The challenge winner will be chosen by a selection panel via review of application submittals, consideration of business plans, and a final presentation of proposal to the selection committee.

    • Downtown Resident – Someone that is a longstanding resident that can show prior engagement
    • Retail Operator with current downtown location – Owner of the retail operator with at least 3 years having an open business in the target area
    • Property Owner – An owner, not participating as a site sponsor, that has and will have a significant presence in the target area.
    • VDA Board Member – A current active board member that is ensuring the VDA investment is used in a sound manner
    • Either City of Vancouver representative or a community business leader that has ties to the downtown

The When Discover our Committed side.

Phases of Competition

  • Phase 1 : Business Concept – Applications will be due January 2020
  • Phase 2 : Business Plan – Semifinalists will submit business plans in March 2020
  • Phase 3 : Final Pitch – Finalists will make final pitch in April 2020

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