A Whanganui entrepreneur's vision for a collaborative retail space is becoming a reality.
Robert Scott, the man behind The Marketplace, a community retail space based in the old Farmers building, has eight tenants signed up and is ready to move on to the next step.
"I've crossed my threshold of viability and the brave new frontier has arrived," Scott said.
Scott said he has signed the lease for the building and that it's going to be a busy two months getting all the systems in place ready for an early November launch.
"It's very exciting, but there's also a little trepidation because my willingness to test the water and spend some money and walk away, we have gone past that.
"I'm no longer dipping my toes in, I'm jumping in boots and all."
Scott said there has been a great response from the community regarding the venture: "The concept has been well received.
"I know from my commercial real estate experience, there's a lot of people that come and inquire for smaller, start-up spaces and they find the whole thing overwhelming. There is definitely a place to give better support for smaller start-ups or people working from home where they might be operating a small side hustle that could go full time."
While some people are happy just running their stores and stalls as a way to get a little bit of pocket money on the side, Scott said there are a number who could easily operate full time if they put their minds to it.
"There's an amazing amount of creativity out there happening in people's workshops and homes."
Scott said the Covid-19 pandemic has both encouraged and discouraged people to venture into the retail business.
"The Covid climate has added uncertainty, yet on the other side of that coin is it has created a real desire in the community to shop local and support local businesses around the country."
Scott said those interesting in finding out more should visit their website the-marketplace.co.nz.