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Bedford Business Bootcamp hopes to fill up empty storefronts

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BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - Bedford Business Bootcamp hopes to fill up empty storefronts in Centertown.

The program will teach people how to run a business and offer a chosen entrepreneur a $5,000 grant to start off in Centertown Bedford.

"What we really hope is to get people to understand what it means to run a business and even the people who don't receive the grant will still have an interest and the tools to start their own businesses," says Jim Messier, Arthur's Jewelry.

Bedford Business Bootcamp is modeled after another program in Marion. That program has created 20 businesses and 95 jobs since 2012.

Sara Smith, the new executive director for Centertown Bedford, says this is part of several other initiatives she's working on to help revitalize Bedford.

"There is a commitment here with the board of directors as well as the community partners throughout the town to make sure we're all working together," says Smith. "This is a team effort."

The first class for the program will start at the end of the month. It's free for those interested.