By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jun 25, 2009 at 6:27 AM

The Shops of Grand Avenue is looking to create some excitement with a promotional contest, called "Retail Therapy," that will secure you and your retail idea free base rent for one year at the Downtown mall. is a partner in this contest, and as you've probably read I've been providing ongoing ideas for the mall. See them here and here.

Let's face it, retail isn't easy and the Grand Avenue could use a boost. But, a great idea, team, marketing, Web strategies and product mix will help you succeed. Free rent isn't a bad thing either.

Here's what you have to do. With the submission of a comprehensive business plan, your retail business idea will be judged based on concept, feasibility, uniqueness and contributing potential to The Shops of Grand Avenue and Downtown. I'm on the judging panel, by the way.

In addition to free base rent for one year, the contest will grant the winning contestant prizes designed to build a successful and prosperous retail store. These include:

  • Interior Design Retail Concept courtesy of Kahler Slater
  • $2,500 advertising package courtesy of
  • Free one year membership to Visit Milwaukee
  • Free one year membership to Westown Association
  • Grand Opening Kit courtesy of Kroll-Salkin Corporation
  • Logo design courtesy of Spark Milwaukee
  • Premium ticket package promotion courtesy of Connections Tickets

"We are very excited to see what this contest brings to the city of Milwaukee!" says Erica Anderson, director of marketing for the mall.

To enter your idea or for more information on The Shops of Grand Avenue visit  

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.