WILTON — Have an idea for a new business or an expansion of one? You might just be in luck.

Wilson Stream Properties has launched an Entrepreneur Contest to fill 2,500 square feet at 430 Main St., with more than $15,000 in incentives and business advice to boot.

Property owners Josh Michaud and Jeff Chaisson are hoping to help revitalize the downtown by getting a business into the former Wilton Hardware Store building. It is between the Wilton Post Office and the Congregational Church.

“We are very much involved with the downtown area, and helping to develop it,” Michaud said. “We want to fill the space.”

The businessmen are looking for an idea that would fit in the downtown.

“We’re really open to any business idea for this space,” Michaud said.

Wilton is off and running to get the downtown revitalized after receiving a $400,000 grant to put toward improving sidewalks, downtown lighting and parking, among other improvements.

The former hardware store’s large, rectangular setting with big windows in the front provides natural light to highlight the display space.

It is one of the largest spaces in the downtown. Among the surrounding businesses are the new Wilton Hardware store, Calzolaio Pasta Co., Expenet Technologies, Beauty Mark Salon and the developing Western Maine Play Museum, an “emerging children’s museum.”

The three-phase contest will start with interested people filling out an application and small write-up of their ideas due Sept. 9. Ideas and applications can be submitted at www.wilsonstreamproperties.com.

They can also be mailed to Wilson Stream Properties, PO Box 1028, Wilton, ME 04294.

An advisory panel will review the submissions and choose the top five ideas. Those applicants will move on to the second phase on Sept. 23. That stage involves the top applicants developing and submitting business plans for review. The plans are due Oct. 21. During the final phase, applicants will present and answer questions about their business plans. On Oct. 24, final interviews will be scheduled. The winner will be announced Nov. 25. Upon the signing of a lease, renovations may commence.

An incentive package includes up to 100 percent reduced rent for the first year, web design assistance and gift cards to help with renovations.

During the second phase the applicants will have help from business organizations and professionals, Michaud said.

“We would like to thank the many area businesses that have generously donated services to create an incentives package worth over $15,000,” he said.

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