Contest for store proposals for Notre Dame Street in the South West

The South West borough has come up with a new idea to try to fill the vacant stores on Notre Dame Street.

After last year's roadwork that shut down Notre Dame for many months, local merchants and business development groups say they wanted to renew the area.

So they've launched a contest offering up subsidies of between $15,000 to $30,000 for someone who wants to open up a business on the street. There's a total of $100,000 up for grabs.

The number one criteria is how the business would meet the needs of the community. That means no more restaurants since the borough set limits on how many could open because it wanted a greater mix of businesses.

"No cafés, no boulangeries, patisseries. We want more original retailers or commerces, local commerces," said Aziz Guellouz, spokesman for PME MTL Grand Sud Ouest.

Some suggestions they've had from the community: a theatre or cinema and clothing or design stores.

There's a list of 12 vacant storefronts being offered up.

The deadline to present your business plan is this January 15. Winners will be revealed in February.