Incubators help county retain small, local businesses

Right now, Amazon executives are reviewing the packets sent to them from cities vying for the location of their second headquarters. This comes with the promise of 50,000 jobs, a tantalizing prospect for any region.

In September 2017, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker approved a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn, a Taiwanese technology firm that will bring 13,000 jobs to the state.

Undoubtedly, the offers from cities to host Amazon’s second headquarters will also bring with them massive financial incentives.

Attracting huge companies with tens of thousands of positions is certainly one way to approach economic growth. But what about the cities who are not selected? What about regions with smaller populations, like Centre County?

It’s the view of economic development leaders in Centre County that encouraging small businesses to start and remain here are the best means of achieving sustained growth without shelling out millions or billions in incentives.

Such was the opinion of County Commissioner Mark Higgins when he presented at the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County in September, just a day after the Foxconn deal was announced.

Higgins said retaining small local businesses was a key function of business incubators, and that 84 percent of businesses that start in one will stay in the area.

Hence why local leaders are collaborating to provide for affordable business incubators such as SpringBoard, a project developed by the county, Bellefonte Borough, Bellefonte Keystone Community Development Association and numerous other community stakeholders.

The hope is to develop local businesses and retain them by providing the physical infrastructure and consulting services to aid them through the first years of their founding.

Will you be SpringBoard's next member?

The SpringBoard facility provides open work spaces, a shared conference room and kitchenette, high speed internet, training and workshops to any entrepreneur, startup or early stage firm within the county. Tenants are able to receive access to services, a network of professionals and can learn about financial incentive programs available through state and federal agencies. 

Spring your idea into action by contacting us today:

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Ellen Matis