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Duluth businesses could get free rent for holidays

 DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Leaders in Duluth are offering free rent to businesses that promise to open by Nov. 30 and stay open through the holiday shopping season.

Greater Downtown Council President Kristi Stokes tells the Duluth News Tribune that the goal is to fill some vacant storefronts and make the downtown area more exciting during the holidays.

The offer is limited. Only six storefronts are available, and participants must pay their own utilities and promise to remain open at least through Jan. 10. In exchange, they'll receive two or three months free rent.

Stokes says "pop-up" businesses that open for a limited time are part of a national trend, but the hope is that at least some will remain past the holidays.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.