BY COLE REIF posted on www.greatbendpost.com on April 28, 2016
The perennial issue that many small communities have been facing for years is a declining population. The Stafford County Economic Development staff is looking to curb that problem by attracting young entrepreneurs with a Launch Pad Business Incubator in St. John.
Stafford County Eco Devo Executive Director Carolyn Dunn says the goal is to help grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial services.
The business incubator concept is to build a two-story building in downtown St. John that will be 30’ x 45’. The bottom floor will have an open floor concept to conduct business and top floor would feature an apartment for the entrepreneur to live. Stafford County Eco Devo will also provide mentoring and help establish beginning sales while the business owner is in the incubator.
Dunn noted their plan is to eventually graduate the business entrepreneur out of the incubator once they have established themselves and bring in a fresh business idea. An article from Business News Daily stated that 84 percent of companies that graduate from an incubator stay in the community.
Dunn estimated it would cost $100,000 to construct the building near the intersection of 2ndStreet and Main Street. Eco Devo received roughly $55,000 in grant money from the state and Golden Belt Community Foundation to construct the business incubator and plan for volunteer help. Eco Devo will dedicate the remaining funds needed.
Applications are being accepted for those interested in beginning their business at the St. John incubator.
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Stafford County Economic Development
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