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Kimco Realty : Expands KEYS Business Incubator Program for Qualified Start-Up Entrepreneurs

08/25/2015 | 09:08am US/Eastern

Kimco KEYS encourages entrepreneurs in the Northeast to unlock success

Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE:KIM) is pleased to announce that it has expanded its highly regarded Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start (KEYS) program into Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. KEYS is an innovative incubator program for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to launch their first retail venture, service operation, or restaurant. The program places qualified applicants into Kimco shopping centers with one year of free rent and additional benefits.

KEYS was launched as a pilot program in California in 2012, and it has since expanded into a total of 19 states across the U.S. There are hundreds of small shops (2,500 square feet and under) available for KEYS participants, including pre-built restaurant spaces. Through KEYS, several retail entrepreneurs in the Western region have already been able to turn their passions into profitable businesses, and this expansion will give aspiring business owners in the Northeast equal opportunity to succeed with Kimco’s guidance.

“At Kimco, small shops are an integral part of our neighborhood and community shopping centers, adding diversity, value, and a local touch to our tenant mix,” said Conor Flynn, President and Chief Operating Officer at Kimco. “Providing operational and financial support through the critical start-up incubation years is part of our commitment to encourage small businesses, as well as women, minority and veteran-owned businesses, to open their doors and flourish.”

KEYS program participants benefit from:

  • One year of free rent
  • Affordable first year property charges to minimize initial overhead (standard triple net fees shall apply)
  • Access to personal Kimco retail business counselors
  • The flexibility of exercising a four-year lease option after the first year
  • Access to shop space in established retail centers

Interested KEYS applicants are asked to provide a written business plan with specific goals and objectives, and demonstrate adequate funding for their venture. An endorsement, certificate, degree, or letter of completion from small business educational classes, NxLeveL, Small Business Development Center, or a college or university is also recommended.

Earlier this year, Kimco announced an alliance with NxLeveL Education Association to provide comprehensive 30-hour educational course programs for start-up entrepreneurs and prospective business owners interested in opening their first retail store, restaurant, or service operation. NxLeveL, the nation's largest entrepreneurial training network, with more than 300,000 graduates and 8,000 certified instructors, offers a practical, hands-on approach to preparing and executing a business plan.

For more information on the Kimco KEYS program or to obtain an application, please visit www.KimcoKeys.com or call 1-888-668-1690.

About Kimco

Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE:KIM) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in New Hyde Park, N.Y., that is North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of open-air shopping centers. As of June 30, 2015, the company owned interests in 727 shopping centers comprising 107 million square feet of leasable space across 39 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Chile. Publicly traded on the NYSE since 1991, and included in the S&P 500 Index, the company has specialized in shopping center acquisitions, development and management for more than 50 years. For further information, please visit www.kimcorealty.com, the company’s blog at blog.kimcorealty.com, or follow Kimco on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kimcorealty.

© Business Wire 2015
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