IULIUS Company continues the Go Local program designed to support local start-up businesses to access its shopping center network. The first beneficiaries have already opened up locations, others participated in fairs, and many are in the final phase of signing the partnership. Interested local entrepreneurs can apply online at: www.iuliuscompany.ro/golocal.
More than 150 small entrepreneurs have signed up by now in the Go Local program kick-started by IULIUS Company this autumn. The campaign aims to encourage local entrepreneurs that have never operated in shopping centers or malls to enter the IULIUS projects, by offering them a series of advantages. The program is implemented in the two mixed-use projects of the company, Palas Iași and Iulius Town Timișoara, as well as in the Iulius Mall network in Suceava, Iași and Cluj-Napoca. The goal is to increase the number of active retailers and, in five years’ time, to grow this program into new nationwide entrepreneur networks.
Manufacturers of artisanal products or organic cosmetics, small entrepreneurs operating in the hospitality and entertainment industry, flower shops, beekeeping shops, stores carrying products for children, and service industry entrepreneurs are just a few of the profiles of applicants to this program. In addition to being present in the most prominent shopping centers in Romania, Go Local offers selected candidates benefits such as temporary rent exemption or discounts, contractual term flexibility, advertising campaigns, and integrated consulting and, most importantly, visibility and more clients.
There is a lot of interest in this respect and the first two locations were already opened recently. There are 20 applicants in the final phase of signing the partnership, while others have participated in fairs.
Vlad Giurgica opened his first location in a retail project in the Palas Iași mixed-use complex, after three others that are located in parks around the city. After spending 17 years in Italy, Vlad returned home and invested his savings in a novel, tricycle-style mobile coffee shop. “The public was curious to find out how we make such a good coffee using such a small space. We were embraced confidently and we also wanted to be present in the heart of the city, in the Palas complex. The Go Local program is a helping hand to those who want to start a business with low costs, being a solid initiative, particularly in this difficult period,” said the entrepreneur. The novel menu item is coffee or hot chocolate in an edible cup, made of a special wafer. Knowing how important it is to have support when you start a business, during summer, the Caffe Alé locations also sell fresh raspberries from a local producer.
After becoming a mother, Cluj resident Tunde Szabo sought ways to supplement her budget while working from home. She always enjoyed creating various artisanal items, and her husband is an actor at the puppet theater, so after several trials she started creating Muppets-type marionettes. That was how “Ferma de Păpuși” (The Puppet Farm) came about. The marionettes were initially sold at fairs or online and, as of December, in Iulius Mall Cluj as well, after the idea was selected in the Go Local program. “I saw an online advertisement and I applied. I am very happy that I can benefit from the program; this is a special helping hand, particularly in these times, when everything is so uncertain. The first days were very good, the clients were happy and took advantage of finding marionettes at our location. The selection process was effortless and I am thankful for the people at Iulius Mall who saw the fantasy in my products,” says Tunde Szabo.
Other participants advertised their products at the fairs organized in the projects IULIUS Company operates in Romania. This is also the case for the Local Producers’ Association: Made in Iași (Asociația Producătorilor locali: Produs în Iași), which is currently present for the second time in three months at a fair in the Palas mixed-use complex, where they are promoting a community comprised of 10 small entrepreneurs.
Go Local falls under ‘IULIUS in the Community’, the sustainability strategy of the company, which is centered around environmental aspects, investments in the people and in the community, with an emphasis on the best practices for corporate governance and business ethics. The businesses that complete the selection process will benefit from customized support measures, such as temporary rent exemption and 25% to 50% discounts, flexibility in terms of lease duration, as well as integrated advertising and consulting campaigns, benefits packages that can add up to maximum 10,000 Euro.
IULIUS also supports the local entrepreneurship by developing the 300,000 sqm of retail premises in its five projects, where local tenants represent more than 16% of the tenant mix, while national tenants add up to approximately 20%.