Statewide and local officials were on hand Monday, October 14 to celebrate the grand opening of Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga on NW Front Street. The business is part of DEDO’s Downtown Delaware program known as Project Pop-Up, an innovative initiative intended to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and reduce downtown vacancies.
Project Pop-Up is supported by funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and designed to provide several Delaware entrepreneurs an opportunity to be “open for business” in select downtowns by offering commercial space, rent-free for three months during the 2013 holiday season. This year DEDO has provided three months of rent-free retail space to five total businesses in Milford, Milton, Smyrna and Dover. The program, a joint effort of the Delaware Economic Development Office and local stakeholders in these towns, also offers assistance from a business advisor.
Diane Laird of DEDO said that one of the reasons Paige Deiner,owner of Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga, was chosen for the grant was that she was already running a home-based business with an established clientele.
“Statewide, we had about 40 applicants for the project,” Ms. Laird explained. “Paige was chosen because she already had an established clientele and the experience necessary to grow her company. The location does not get a lot of foot traffic, and Paige’s business does not rely on that type of traffic to succeed. She also had a strong Facebook and online presence, which also helped her in the application process.”
At Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga, Ms. Deiner offers a variety of yoga classes and massage therapies. Classes are available in every age level, from children to seniors. In January, the studio will offer a special weight loss program as well. Massages include Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, pre and post-natal, as well as Reiki techniques.
Starting Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga from her home, Paige was able to expand into the commercial location due to the Project Pop-Up Program’s ability to work with local landlords to provide an environment that gives new business owners a stronger foothold. Ms. Deiner has already seen some success in her new location and is looking to continue the business in downtown as she has already signed a lease that extends her original three-month lease.
“I cannot express my gratitude toward DEDO and all those that have helped me to get started, Project Pop-Up is amazing,” commented Deiner. “I believe in creating this studio we have created a community, a place where people can come to heal. I feel so grateful that people have opened their arms to me and I have been able to help them.”
Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office Alan Levin stated that the program has been a great partnership between DEDO, the City of Milford and Downtown Milford Inc, aimed at creating opportunities for new businesses to succeed.
“This program gives businesses the ability to get a head start,” stated Levin. “Milford, through good leadership has exploded, Milford is something we can all point to and be proud of.”