The Centre County commissioners unanimously approved partial funding for the Bellefonte business incubator on Tuesday.
The commissioners presented a check for almost $18,000 to Vana Dainty and Rod Beard, coordinator and chairman, respectively, of Bellefonte Keystone Community (Belle Key), to help with the development of the business incubator.
The money will be used for branding, signage, building materials and architectural design, Dainty said.
The incubator will offer 12 local entrepreneurs a physical location to help get their businesses started by providing office space, computers, photo copiers and other basic office supplies. The incubator will also act as a space where entrepreneurs can receive mentoring and networking advice to help achieve success.
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Commissioner Mark Higgins said the incubator will provide an “ecosystem” for businesses to not only begin, but thrive and grow.
“You can’t just do this all by yourself,” Higgins said. “You need assistance, you need lawyers, you need accountants, you need people who have done this before who can save you a ton of time in just a couple of minutes conversation.”
The total cost for the project is between $45,000 and $50,000, Beard said, and when it’s completed it will be the sixth business incubator in Centre County.
Beard said the incubator will offer people who have a business idea an opportunity to get it off the ground.
“They’ve got an idea running around the back of their head, but there are a lot of pieces that have to come together in order to make it a viable business,” he said. “The goal with the springboard incubator is to help assemble those pieces.”
The facility, which will have 24-hour access, is slated to be open by mid spring.