The Powell Community Improvement Corp. is hosting its second open house tomorrow from 4 to 6 p.m. at the city’s new business incubator, The 44 Center for Business.
Located in a renovated building at 44 N. Liberty St., the incubator offers office space for up to four startups, as well as a shared administrative staff. Tenants will also have access to professional mentoring and training opportunities.
“We have established the management of our incubator through our Main Street-based downtown business organization, Historic Downtown Powell Inc., which has the trained staff and volunteers that are able to help in any way the businesses that locate in the incubator,” says David Betz, director of development for the city of Powell. “It also is within a totally renovated old fire station and provides not only office space, but also a large conference center as well.”
Other amenities include Internet, telephone with assigned numbers, voicemail, a kitchenette, and public parking.
Businesses will apply for office space and the PCIC will decide which ones make the cut based on input from Historic Downtown Powell Inc., the organization that will manage the incubator’s day-to-day operations.
Businesses will sign a one-year license, with an option for renewal.
“The Powell CIC had a small, first open house, but it was on a Saturday, so we would like to see more possible business owners come to the next one,” Betz says. “We have had several inquiries and tours for people, but we are just now beginning our marketing. We are hoping that we get successful startups and entrepreneurs who grow their business out of the incubator and elsewhere in Powell to help grow our business base and business mix.”
To be eligible for a space in the incubator, businesses must be in the early stages of development, have a high growth potential, and have a strong market for their products or services. They also must possess the potential to have a positive impact on the community, have a business plan in place, and agree to remain headquartered in the city of Powell.
“This is another tool in the city’s economic development toolbox that we intend to promote new business with,” Betz says, adding that the center will also provide a place for the local business community to have meetings and promote doing business in Powell.
Funding for the incubator came from Powell City Council, which contributed $53,000, an Ohio Department of Development grant for $80,000, and a Community Block Grant through Delaware County.
To learn more about The 44 Center for Business, visit PowellCIC.org/incubator.php.