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Wichita street market becomes business incubator

August 18, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A street market in Wichita has turned into a grassroots business incubator, reinvigorating the city’s north end.

The Nomar International Market, or Mercadito Hispano Nomar, is a grassroots business incubator launched and managed by local entrepreneurs, the Wichita Eagle reported .

“It’s more than just a market,” said Armando Minjares, director of Horizontes, a community engagement arts project. “It’s really exciting to see what’s happening there.”

City leaders were looking for ways to revitalize north Wichita when “China” Pena and a friend created the idea of opening the street market give families something to do on the weekends. The market soon had nearly 20 vendors sign up to participate.

Vendors agree to take small business development classes in Spanish at Wichita State University as part of the program. The goal is that the businesses will grow and eventually move into retail space available in nearby strip malls.

“As immigrants, it’s common for people to have all these different side hustles under the table,” Minjares said. “They said, ‘Let’s make it legitimized and more sustainable so they can start moving into some of those brick-and-mortar sites.’”

Those involved hope the “mercadito” shows people what a Mexican street market is like.

“I’m just so excited,” said City Council member Cindy Claycomb. “It’s not government doing this. I think that’s what’s so exciting. We’re just here to help them navigate things.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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