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Partner to Empower

Frequently asked questions

FAQs

What do I need to apply?

The Partner to Empower application will take approximately 30 minutes and will require the following:

  • Personal and business contact information
  • A written description of your business detailing your product or service, your story, your goals, and your current location information (if applicable) 
  • Current estimated annual revenue and funding
  • Statement regarding minority-owned status as defined in the application
  • The Brookfield Properties mall you are most interested in
  • At least one photo of your product or service

When filling out the application you will have the option to save your progress and complete it at a later time, within the application window. Make sure you have access to the email address that you provide, as this is where all important communications regarding the program and your application status will be sent. 

Ready to get started on your brick-and-mortar journey with Partner to Empower?  Apply now

 

How do I know if my business or idea is right for this program?

Our malls are constantly evolving, and we will work together with accepted applicants on their business goals and expansion strategies to figure out which markets and shopping centers are best for them. Each mall has a unique category mix to which we do not want to over index, and our tenants are most successful when we have a differentiated offering of retailers and services. For example, you wouldn’t want to open a bakery at a mall that already has three bakeries — you’d want to open in a mall where you could stand out! If the location you’re interested in isn’t the best match for your business, we will discuss other malls and opportunities in your target area. Occasionally, we may have to wait to open your store until there is availability.

 

If you are not ready to open a store yet, you may still be accepted into the program, receive the resources and Retail Workshop portion, and wait to receive the funding. We will work together to get you where you need to be!

How does the funding work?

Partner to Empower funding is specifically for the expenses associated with the building and construction of your physical store within a Brookfield Properties mall. When accepted into the program, you will work through the details of the license agreement for your store and the amount of funding you will receive for your buildout, along with specifics on what you can use it on. The funds provided through this program are unique to each business and will align with what is required for your specific buildout.

Why did Brookfield Properties start this program?

We saw the need to address the systemic racial barriers that members of our communities face when starting or expanding their businesses, and we knew that our area of expertise in retail could help break down these inequalities in our industry.

Pulling together our team, friends in our communities, retail industry leaders, and funding, we built Partner to Empower as a commitment to Black and minority business owners so that they can access the opportunities they have the right to pursue. It is our mission to bring more diversity to our shopping centers and help support equity within our industry and communities.              

How do you define a Black- or minority-owned business?

We define a Black- or minority-owned business as a for-profit small business concern where socially disadvantaged* individuals own a significant interest (e.g., majority ownership) and also control management and daily business operations.

*African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans are presumed to be socially disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.

How do I know if space for my business or service category type is available at the mall I am most interested in?

Our malls are constantly evolving, and we will work together with accepted applicants on their business goals and expansion strategies to figure out which markets and shopping centers are best for them. Each mall has a unique category mix to which we do not want to over index, and our tenants are most successful when we have a differentiated offering of retailers and services. For example, you wouldn’t want to open a bakery at a mall that already has three bakeries — you’d want to open in a mall where you could stand out! If the location you’re interested in isn’t the best match for your business, we will discuss other malls and opportunities in your target area. Occasionally, we may have to wait to open your store until there is availability.

 

If you are not ready to open a store yet, you may still be accepted into the program, receive the resources and Retail Workshop portion, and wait to receive the funding. We will work together to get you where you need to be!

What does the application process involve?

Partner to Empower is led by our team of retail business experts, and they will shepherd you through the process. After submitting your application, you will receive a response from our team within 5-7 business days regarding next steps.

Here’s what you can expect if you’re selected to move forward at that time:

  • Video interview with our team. This will take approximately one hour and we will dive into the details of your business or idea, your preferred store locations/markets, and potentially begin discussing available spaces. Learn more about some of the individuals you may meet with here.
  • Financial review to be completed — this will be free to applicants.
  • Final decisions can be made within a few days of your interview, up to two or three weeks after the application submission date closes. At that time, the details of negotiating your license agreement and participation in the Retail Workshop will begin. 

What is a license agreement?

A license agreement is a document that details the specifics of opening a store in one of our malls, including important information regarding rent cost, store location and square footage, the length of your lease, and the responsibilities of both tenant and landlord. The license agreement will be negotiated between both parties.

Where can I open a store?

Brookfield Properties has a U.S. portfolio of malls in which you can open or expand your business. To best dedicate time and resources to the success of businesses that apply to the program, we have segmented the available properties into three application Sessions.

In 2022, applications will be accepted in these states as follows:

  • Session 1 | February 16­ – March 18
    Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin
  • Session 2 | April 4 – April 29
    Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia
  • Session 3 | September 14 - October 14
    Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

When filling out the application, let us know which property is your first choice as a jumping-off point. We will work together on your business goal and expansion strategy to figure out which markets and shopping centers are perfect for you.

Do I need to live or operate in the state I want to open my business in?

It is not required that you reside in the state or region you would like to open your business in, nor does your business need to be previously located there — you just need an interest in having a physical store presence in that region. 

What if I’m interested in a region or mall that isn’t currently taking applications?

Partner to Empower opportunities are available across our U.S. portfolio of malls. However, to best dedicate time and resources to the success of businesses that apply, we have segmented the available properties into three application Sessions.

 

Applications will be accepted in these states as follows:

  • Session 1 | February 16 ­– March 18
    Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin
  • Session 2 | April 4 – April 29
    Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia
  • Session 3 | September 14 - October 14
    Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

If you would like to know more, please contact us to discuss potential business opportunities within our portfolio. 

What can the funding be used for?

Partner to Empower funding is specifically for the expenses associated with building out your physical store within a Brookfield Properties mall. Other important aspects of running your store such as purchasing inventory, staffing, and operations are not covered by our funding.

Covered:

Design & Construction

Painting

Storefront & Signage

Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

Built-In Security Features

Permanent Fixtures

Flooring

Lighting

Not Covered:

Purchasing Inventory

Staffing & Payroll

Training

POS Systems & Equipment

CCTV

HDR Recorders

Elaborate Décor & Lighting

Store Operation Costs

Do I need to pay Brookfield Properties back for the funding they provide?

No. The Partner to Empower funding is a grant and does not need to be paid back to Brookfield Properties. 

How can I get funding for items not covered by Partner to Empower?

While Partner to Empower was created to provide Black- and minority-owned businesses with funding to support the expenses associated with building out a physical store within our portfolio, there may be other resources available outside of this program that can guide your business as well. We encourage you to view these additional resources.

What is the Retail Workshop?

We’ve built a network of support through partnering with national and local organizations, banks, businesses, and retail leaders to break down the many barriers in building and expanding a successful business. For those accepted into the program, this culminates in a four-week, virtual Retail Workshop hosted by Brookfield Properties, which will be facilitated by our friends at Global Core Strategies & Consulting. And yes, the Retail Workshop is free for those accepted into the Partner to Empower program — it is our commitment to your success.

 

More than 30 facilitators will each give a course on their area of expertise, collectively creating a comprehensive foundation on how to run a successful physical retail business. Topics covered include:

  • Store operations
  • Store design and merchandising
  • Business banking
  • Funding and capital 
  • POS systems and inventory
  • Marketing, branding, and PR
  • Human resources and staffing
  • Developing business models 
  • Franchising
  • Leadership and people management
  • Business law, leases, and risk management

 

About 40 participants will attend the workshop, with each session creating great networking and learning opportunities. Get ready to work through your business challenges together and create lasting friendships. We build each other up.  

What are the dates and expectations of the Retail Workshop?

During the application and selection process, your program liaison will discuss your candidacy for the Retail Workshop. We expect participants to show up each week and learn, so this may take some coordination of your schedule and responsibilities during this time. 

2022, Dates & Times by Application Session:

  • Session 1 | May 2 - May 25
    Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays | Mornings
  • Session 2 | June 6 – June 30
    Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays | Mornings
  • Session 3 | January 23 - February 17
    Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays | Mornings

I’ve been accepted into the program. Now what?

Congratulations! Here’s what you should do next:

  • Accept your invite to the Retail Workshop.
  • Discuss space and lease negotiations with your program liaison.
  • Once your license agreement is signed, your store build-out will begin! You will work with someone at Brookfield Properties throughout this process. Build-out can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months, depending on complexity.
  • Brookfield Properties will support you with your new store opening plans, helping to advertise your business on the mall marketing channels, as well as give tips on your personal marketing plan.
  • Continue check-ins with your program liaison. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need help!
  • Begin networking with your Retail Workshop cohort.

How can I get involved with the program if I’m not an applicant?

We are always looking to expand the community aligned with our passion to support Black- and minority-owned businesses. If you would like to become a collaborator of the program, participate as a presenter during our Retail Workshop, or would simply like to help us spread the word, please contact us.
 

You can also download our partnership deck for more information.

What if I have a media inquiry about the program?

For media inquiries, please contact us.

Ready to get started?

Apply now

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