The Program

Encouraging Small Businesses

Kimco Realty is actively seeking startup entrepreneurs and first-time business owners to apply and participate in our KEYS program. KEYS (Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start) will place qualified applicants into Kimco shopping centers with one year of free rent and additional benefits. Kimco will provide operational and financial support through the critical startup incubation years, to better ensure the success of these first-time business owners.

Mom-and-pop stores are an integral part of our communities, and Kimco designed the KEYS program to help encourage small business, as well as women, minority and veteran-owned businesses to open and succeed. KEYS launched in California, and has now expanded into 19 states across the U.S. In total, there are over 600 small shops (2,500 square feet and under) available for KEYS participants, including many pre-built restaurant spaces.

KEYS Listings

KEYS Application

KEYS Benefits

  • First year rent FREE! (standard triple net fees will apply) *
  • Personal Kimco retail business counselor to assist in store location selection
  • Upon completion of successful first year, favorable four-year lease option
  • Immediate "retail credibility" by opening store in a neighborhood or regional shopping center owned by a premier national real estate company

* Triple net expenses cover real estate taxes, building/parking lot insurance and common area maintenance charges.

Qualifications for Participants

  • Startup entrepreneur who plans on opening his or her first store, restaurant, or other concept (not accepting franchisees)
  • Adequate source of funding for venture
  • Written Business Plan with detailed business goals
  • Ability to articulate his or her plan for success
  • Certificate, endorsement, or letter of completion verifying entrepreneurial classes completed from an SBA sponsored business association, college, university or appropriate training organization encouraged, but not required

What they are saying about KEYS

Contact Us

Amy Daniels (East Coast)
Director of Real Estate
Two Newton Executive Park
Suite 100
Newton, MA 02462

Office: (516) 869-7195
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KEYS Application Help

If you have any questions or need assistance in filling out the application, please call (888) 668-1690 and ask for KEYS assistance.

Encouraging Small Businesses

The best-qualified KEYS applicants will have completed a formal entrepreneurial business program. Applicants may submit a certificate from a community college for a business program, an endorsement from a training organization, or a letter of completion of an entrepreneurial series of classes.

Our educational alliances include the following reputable and highly-regarded organizations: