About Market 59

Do you have more questions about Market 59? Send an email through our contact page and a member of the team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

What is Market 59?

A pilot program designed to grow and develop retail business in Downtown Pontiac. Miniature storefronts (approximately 144 square feet) will be set up on Block 59 and rented for the summer to businesses looking to expand into a full size storefront. This low stakes program allows them to experience the retail world without the overhead of a full size storefront.

Who can participate?

Interested retailers may submit an application before February 28, 2021. Applications will go through a blind review process by members of Downtown Pontiac’s team and our business community. If you’re interested, but not ready to commit, please call us at 815-844-3396.

What’s included with the mini storefront?

Each storefront will include electricity, heating/air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. Any additional service needs should be noted in the application.

What kind of products can be sold?

We are hoping to provide a wide array of products not easily found elsewhere in town. Multi-level marketing products are not allowed to be sold.

Do I have to already have a business to apply?

No, but you will need to provide a business plan with your application.

How will customers know I’m there?

The Downtown team is excited to feature all of our Market 59 shops on our website and social media, but we expect each store to have their own social media presence as well.

What if I only want to be a seasonal vendor?

You’re still welcome to apply. While one of the goals of the program is to grow our existing retail base, we recognize that some products make sense to only offer seasonally.

Do I have to follow the hours you set?

At a minimum, yes. You’re welcome to be open longer or more frequently if you wish but you must also be open during the hours listed on the application.

Can I have someone else run my shop?

You can have employees working in your shop for you but you cannot allow someone else to sell their products or take over your lease.

Will I be part of the Downtown Business Community?

Absolutely! Vendors located in the shops will be exposed to traffic from the Downtown Farmers’ Market, festivals, retail events, Finally Fridays, and all other events held Downtown and on Block 59. We expect all vendors to participate in Downtown’s retail events and promotions. In addition, all Market 59 vendors will get to participate in entrepreneur educational opportunities and work with a variety of mentors.

Are there any resources out there to help me learn how to create a business plan?


First off, google!  Googling “how to write a business plan” brings up lots of great information and templates, including this great link from the Small Business Administration https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan

The Small Business Development Center offer lots of services to inspiring entrepreneurs https://www.alliancesbdc.org/

Local entrepreneur Marlon Eilts has recently launched Happy Hedgehog, a hyperlocal, grow from within concept to help others launch and grow their own businesses https://sites.google.com/happyhedgehog.org/hhpontiac/home

Heartland Community College offers a wide variety of classes and workshops specific to business. HCC’s Online Professional Learning class “A Path to Entrepreneurship” https://www.campusce.net/heartland/course/course.aspx?catId=37 begins soon and may be a good place to kickstart your idea, create your business plan, and much more