Collab Exchange opens Friday on Main Street in Bridgeport.

Jordan Grice/Hearst CT Media: (Left to Right) Natalie Pryce, Kelvin Ayala. Razul Branch, Keith Jackson, Noel Sepulveda, founders of local community development agency I Luv Bridgeport.

The local group I Luv Bridgeport is developing this downtown storefront space to promote the city and provide co-operative working and retail space for local entrepreneurs.

“Retail has not been sustainable in downtown Bridgeport and other cities,” said Kelvin Ayala, co-founder of I Luv Bridgeport. “A lot of the reasons are that barriers to entry in terms of cost for large spaces is, typically, not in the budget of small-business entrepreneurs.” I Luv Bridgeport aims to change all that by helping to small-businesses with the typical challenges of successful retail: high rent, overhead and lack of foot traffic, and giving them a chance to test out their products and grow their businesses.

The space will house up 15 entrepreneurs under one roof in one of the ground-level storefronts of the HSW building, which has apartments in its upper floors. The hope that these businesses will eventually be empowered to open independent storefronts throughout the city.

Read more about this exciting new Bridgeport business: Incubator to boost Bridgeport retail – CT Post