Economic Development

NYC Secures Historic Economic Development Agreement to Build Office Tower With Living Wage Jobs

Brookfield Property Partners has reached an agreement with the NYC Economic Development Corporation for building their new $2.2 billion One Manhattan West office tower in the Hudson Yards District.

NYC Mayor signing of living wage executive order

NYC Mayor signing of living wage executive order (photo – usdol/flickr)

The project will generate more than 10,000 construction and permanent retail and office jobs in New York City, and Brookfield has agreed to subject all these jobs to the City’s new Living Wage standard.

This is the first such agreement for an economic development project in NYC after Mayor Bill de Blasio issued the Living Wage Executive Order. It increases wages in projects supported by City subsidies to over $13 per hour and also makes it applicable to tenants after project completion.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a release announcing the agreement with Brookfield that they are incredibly proud to see this agreement come to fruition. The Mayor thanked Brookfield Properties, anchor tenant Skadden Arps and the staff of the NYC Economic Development Corporation for collaborating on this dynamic addition to the city.

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen added that there was no shortage of voices who said a deal like this could never happen, but through productive negotiations, they were able to see the policy objectives realized.

Deputy Mayor Glen added that this fundamentally changes the way in which NYC uses its economic development tools.

NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball noted that when they look at job creation, they don’t only consider quantity, but quality as well. Kimball thanked Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Glen and Brookfield for crafting this agreement in a way that puts New Yorkers on a path to a brighter future.

One Manhattan West is a 2.1 million square feet Class A office tower project on a five-acre site. The tower will be anchored by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. At the tower’s base will be a two-acre plaza lined with retail space.

These retail jobs, office cafeterias and parking facilities typically create jobs that mostly offer minimum wage. But the Living Wage order, and the agreement reached with Brookfield Properties, ensures that these jobs will now offer significantly higher wages.

The living wage has been set to $13.30 per hour without benefits ($11.90 with benefits), and will be adjusted every year to account for Consumer Price Index changes. By 2019, the living wage is expected to rise up to more than $15 per hour.

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum said in the release that economic development is only truly effective when the jobs created enable people to earn enough to survive in the city. Appelbaum added that they congratulate Mayor de Blasio for discarding outdated notions of economic development under which building for building’s sake was thought to be sufficient.

Construction on One Manhattan West is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2020.

BFC Partners Breaks Ground on Empire Outlets – Staten Island’s Largest Economic Development Project

BFC Partners has broken ground on Empire Outlets, a catalytic 340,000-square-foot retail complex on Staten Island’s North Shore that will create more than 1,800 jobs and generate $285 million in private investment.

Empire Outlets is the largest Staten Island economic development project since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was built.

Video – Empire Outlets

The catalytic Empire Outlets project, billed as NYC’s first outlet destination, is one of the core components of the $1 billion private investment that is being poured into the revitalization of Staten’s Island North Shore.

Empire Outlets will be the retail centerpiece of a whole new entertainment district on the Staten Island waterfront, located at the base of the St. George Ferry Terminal, a 20-minute free ferry ride from Manhattan used by 65,000 people every day.

The retail complex includes plans to house 100 designer outlet retailers, along with a host of restaurants and cafes. The plans also include a 190-room hotel on the waterfront, offering sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

A 1,250-space structured parking garage will be built below the retail outlets and hotel. The construction also includes green design components such as a sustainable green roof that can be seen from the harbor.

Next to the Empire Outlets will be the New York Wheel, which at 630 feet is expected to be the largest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere. The New York Wheel by itself expects to attract 4.5 million visitors annually.

Donald Capoccia, principal at BFC Partners, said in a release that Empire Outlets is a well-timed catalyst that will trigger the transformation of the North Shore and position Staten Island for sustained growth into the foreseeable future.

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo noted that the project is an economic development bonanza in and of itself. Oddo added that its benefits can grow exponentially as Empire Outlets encourages future investments in the community.

NYC Economic Development Corp President Kyle Kimball said that by utilizing HireNYC, the 100 stores that will call Empire Outlets home are not just providing shopping opportunities, but also job opportunities to the local community.

BFC Partners has agreed to fill at least 50 percent of the permanent jobs created at Empire Outlets using NYCEDC’s HireNYC program. This free program connects New York City’s workforce development services to economic development projects in the five boroughs so that local, low-income New York City residents have access to the jobs created by these projects.

The $285 million investment in the project includes $130 million from Goldman Sachs, made through its Urban Investment Group.

New York State economic development agency Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said in the release that Empire Outlets meets the NYC Regional Economic Development Council’s long-term goals for growth in the region.

Commissioner Zemsky added that they are proud to have worked with both NYCEDC and Goldman Sachs to support this exciting new venture.

 

U.S. EDA Announces Americas Competitiveness Exchange Sites and Participants

The U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. International Trade Administration, along with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the U.S. Department of State, announced that 41 sites and 48 participants from 28 countries will be a part of the third Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Americas Competitiveness Exchange

Americas Competitiveness Exchange (photo – riacnet.org)

The Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) offers economic development officials the chance to see in person the results of economic development initiatives in the Americas that are strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.

It’s also a good opportunity to develop and renew long-term regional and global relationships that can lead to greater market access for U.S. exporters.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said in a release that ACE is a prime example of what can be achieved when government silos are broken down and agencies come together to work toward a common goal.

The Third ACE provides an opportunity for a six-day tour (April 19-24) of successful projects and networking activities in the Midwest states of Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Sites on the tour include everything from advanced technology centers to innovation hubs, public-private partnerships and strategic investments.

In addition to OAS Director for Economic Development Ms. Maryse Robert and high-ranking commerce and economic development officials from different countries in the Americas, the ACE participants include a large list of top U.S. officials.

Apart from Asst. Sec. Williams and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Matt Erskine, the list includes, among others, MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Western Hemisphere John Andersen.

At the local and regional level, ACE participants include Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Chief Deputy Commissioner Cathy Polasky, Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and the mayors of Midwest cities such as Minneapolis, Rochester (MN), LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wauwatosa.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Western Hemisphere John Andersen said in the release that this year’s ACE is perfectly timed, as it builds on the enormously successful SelectUSA Investment Summit recently hosted by the Commerce Department.

The tour sites in Minneapolis include the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the Minneapolis – St. Paul economic development partnership Greater MSP.

Also on the itinerary in Minneapolis are the United States Cluster Mapping Project, 3M, Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, and Minnesota’s Bid For the 2023 World’s Fair, among others.

The Chicago sites include Chicago economic development group World Business Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, the DOD and Univ. of Illinois led National Digital Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the Champaign – Urbana – Blue Waters Super Computer, the Tri State Alliance for Regional Development, and the University Technology Park at Illinois Institute of Technology.

The Milwaukee sites include the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Innovation Campus, The Water Council Global Water Center, Midwest Energy Research Consortium, and the School of Freshwater Science, among others.

Participants will have the opportunity to see and learn from these first-hand site visits, and also explore prospects for advancing commerce and trade between the participating economies.

You can see the full list of sites included in the third Americas Competitiveness Exchange at riacnet.org.

Detroit Seeks Economic and Community Development Benefits in Brewster Wheeler Restoration

Eight months after Detroit’s historic Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center was scheduled to be demolished, Mayor Mike Duggan stood in front of it with boxing legend Joe Louis, Jr. to announce a $50 million restoration and redevelopment plan.

Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center in Detroit, MI

Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center in Detroit, MI (photo – Dave Hogg/flickr)

Not only will the project save the building, but will also include Detroit economic development plans to restore the historic neighborhood with 100-150 housing units, a restaurant and other commercial spaces supporting at least 500 new jobs.

Not to mention a kitchen incubator, a culinary arts training program focused on at-risk young women, space to house a bike-friendly non-profit organization, and community and meeting space.

The iconic building will retain its rich heritage with a new restaurant built on top, so that people have the chance to dine in Joe Louis’ former training facility atop what was at one time the Harlem Globetrotters’ basketball court floor.

A bar in another section of the building will likewise honor Leon Wheeler, who became Detroit’s first African American recreation worker in 1919 and managed the Central Community Center (now the Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center) from the time it opened in 1929 until he retired in 1945.

A team of developers, all with deep roots in Detroit, will be working on separate aspects of the project.

Union Joints, LLC is undertaking the restoration of the 51,780-square-foot building and addition of the new restaurant and bar. Apart from the restaurant, they will also establish a kitchen incubator, catering space, culinary arts studio, and community and meeting space within the Recreation Center.

This $10 million project is expected to create 300 new jobs, which will include 120 new full-time jobs. Keeping in mind the historic nature of the building, the project is also expected to provide more Detroit economic development benefits than the usual construction or redevelopment projects.

Under the terms of the agreement, Union Joints LLC is required to ensure that a major part of the benefits from the project go to Detroiters and Detroit-based firms. This includes at least 30 percent of the construction cost to Detroit-based contractors, and hiring of Detroit businesses for at least 51 percent of the construction and rehab of the restaurant parcel.

At least 40 percent of the restaurant jobs must initially be filled with Detroiters, and the number must increase to 70 percent within four years. Members of non-profit Alternatives for Girls, which supports at-risk young women, will be given priority to join the culinary arts training program, which will give them a chance to gain employment at the restaurant after they complete their training.

The agreement also provides space in the building for housing the new headquarters of non-profit organization Slow Roll, Inc. Slow Roll provides bicycles to people for bike tours of Detroit.

Develoopers RHEAL Capital Management and Schostak Brothers are investing $37 million to develop the southern part of the property into a mixed-use project that will include 100-150 multi-family housing units and new commercial space.

This project is expected to create more than 200 new permanent jobs, at least 35 percent of which will be filled by Detroiters. At least 51 percent of the construction jobs will likewise go to Detroiters, and 30 percent of the cost of construction will go to Detroit-based contractors.

Mayor Duggan said in a release announcing the project that every opportunity they have, they plan to preserve buildings like the Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center that have a deep personal history in the city, and do it in a way that provides real benefits to Detroit residents.

Utah Governor Signs HB141 to Support Online Disruptive Innovator Zenefits

The Utah Legislature, the Office of Governor Gary Herbert, and the Utah Insurance Commission all came together to quickly update the state’s statutory insurance inducement definitions and resolve an issue that was causing the state to be perceived as inhospitable to tech innovators and startups.

Zenefits

Zenefits (photo – zenefits.com)

The definitions as they existed before HB141 was signed into law by the Governor had resulted in the banning of human resource software company Zenefits from offering their free HR service in Utah.

Last year in November, the Utah Department of Insurance issued a finding that San Francisco, CA-based Zenefits’ business model illegally induces the purchase of insurance. Zenefits’ free HR platform allows its clients to bypass insurance brokers and get free, instant health insurance plan quotes.

At that time, Zenefits Co-Founder and CEO Parker Conrad published a response in which he said that it is clear that Utah shut down Zenefits for one reason only – to protect traditional insurance brokers from online competition. This, he said, has sent a strong message to tech companies in Utah, in Silicon Valley, and across the country – that Utah’s “Silicon Slopes” are impassable.

Zenefits also sent a strongly worded response to the Utah Insurance Department in which they said that the ban on Zenefits would have ripple effects beyond the insurance marketplace, pegging the State as inhospitable to companies that use technology and innovation to reach new markets or disrupt existing ones.

HB 141, co-sponsored by State Rep. John Knotwell and State Senator Curtis Bramble, was introduced to resolve this issue. With support from the Governor’s Office, the bill was introduced and fast-tracked through the Utah Legislature within the limited 45-day legislative session.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert said in a statement issued after the bill signing that “There are always going to be innovators and disruptors as technology accelerates business growth and we believe government needs to be able to work with these innovators to ensure strong and efficient economic policies and an open marketplace.”

Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said in the release that they want to continue sending the message that Utah is the best state for business. Hale added that Utah not only welcomes business, but will also work with you to help your business grow, innovate, disrupt, and ultimately prosper.

Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad once again published a letter on their company blog, but this time it was praise. He says in the letter that Gov. Herbert’s signing of the law ending Utah’s ban on Zenefits makes it clear that the Beehive State supports innovation, technology and competition.

Conrad adds that this is a huge victory not only for Utah’s businesses, but also for Utah’s continued growth as an American tech hub.

1776 and Montgomery County Economic Development Dept to Promote Regional Innovation

The DC metropolitan area is setting yet another example on how public-private partnerships across states and borders can spur regional economic development while making local governments better.

1776

1776 (photo – tedeytan/flickr)

Washington, D.C.-based startup incubator 1776 and Montgomery County, MD announced a partnership that will help Maryland and DC strengthen regional innovation opportunities while providing startups with the support they need for expanding in the region.

As part of the agreement, 1776 will offer local companies access to its range of startup and incubation resources and programs, including seminars, webinars and office hours with experts.

For its part, the Montgomery County Economic Development Department will work with 1776 member startups looking for opportunities to grow and scale in the County.

1776 co-founder Donna Harris said in a release announcing the partnership that “By fostering a larger regional innovation corridor, 1776 and Montgomery County are working together to help startups improve quality of life for residents, while also creating an innovation economy that transcends borders.”

The partnership is based in part on the experience of several individual collaborations that Montgomery County has already entered into successfully with 1776 member companies.

One of these 1776 startups is TransitScreen, a software platform that enables its users to pick the best public transportation option available. TransitScreen has partnered with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation to install their screens on public buildings in the county including on libraries and recreation centers.

Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED) Acting Director Sally Sternbach said in the release that by working collaboratively with 1776, Montgomery County is leveraging its thriving entrepreneurial community while cementing its reputation as a leader in public-private partnerships.

Through this partnership, 1776 startups will be able to work directly with DED and the county’s Chief Innovation Officer Daniel Hoffman. They will also be able to connect with major corporate employers and federal agencies such as NIST, NIH, GlaxoSmithKline and MedStar Health.

County officials focused on how the partnership will help make government better. County Executive Isiah Leggett said their partnership with 1776 will bring new energy and thinking to their shared goal of tackling important challenges in areas like smart cities, education, energy, health and sustainability.

At-Large Councilmember Hans Riemer, who has been leading the county council’s efforts to develop an innovation program, noted that their interest in applying innovations to the delivery of services to citizens aligns perfectly with 1776’s focus on companies offering smart cities solutions.

As an incubator and seed fund, 1776 focuses on startups in entrenched industries and sectors like education, energy, health and cities that impact millions of lives every day. As part of the Startup Federation network of incubators, 1776 is sparking a global movement of problem-solving startups.

NYC Seeks Broadband Call for Innovations

As part of an effort to close the digital divide and drive down the cost of Internet in the five boroughs, New York City announced the formation of a Broadband Taskforce and put out an open “Call for Innovations” which the City hopes will generate new approaches for reaching underserved communities.

NYC Call for Innovations

NYC Call for Innovations (photo – nyc.gov)

The Broadband Taskforce will be reviewing ideas emerging from the CFI and exploring how these ideas can be connected to larger broadband strategies.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a release announcing these initiatives that the digital divide creates a fundamental difference between those who have access to economic and educational opportunities and those who do not.

The Mayor added that ensuring that all New Yorkers have affordable, high-speed Internet access is a top priority for his administration and a key strategy in their agenda to fight inequality.

New York City Chief Technology Officer Minerva Tantoco likewise noted that eliminating the digital divide is one of the defining issues of our modern age, one that requires ideas as big and bold as the problem itself.

Tantoco added that the Call for Innovations presents an incredible opportunity to deliver free or affordable Internet to millions of New Yorkers who don’t have it at home.

The Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation has released an open solicitation for new ideas and proposals for providing affordable broadband in underserved communities. You can get the details and submit your policy ideas and project proposals at innovation.nyc.

The CFI initiative targets technology companies and entrepreneurs, along with smaller ISPs who have insight into the entry barriers in the NYC telecommunications and Internet marketplace.

NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen said they’re calling on the city’s tech ecosystem to contribute their most innovative ideas to fuel this process, which in the long term will be a major asset not just to individuals, but to the city’s businesses and the broader economy.

NYC Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball said that enlisting the tech sector and the city’s entrepreneurs to come up with creative solutions connecting more New Yorkers to educational resources, health care, and job opportunities online helps to both foster emerging businesses and create a more fair and equitable city.

The Broadband Taskforce will be led by Counsel to the Mayor Maya Wiley, who said in the release that they will build the bridge that crosses the digital divide and creates a 21st century road to opportunity by bringing together experts as advisors on the Broadband Task Force, building the City’s staffing, and engaging the public in sharing information and ideas.

Minnesota Job Creation Fund Helped 31 Projects Invest $344.3M and Create 1800 Jobs

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has released a one-year report card on the performance of the Job Creation Fund, an incentive program that was launched last year.

MN Job Creation Fund

MN Job Creation Fund (photo – mn.gov/deed)

According to data provided by DEED, Minnesota economic development incentives totaling $16.7 million have been provided through JCF to 31 expansion projects.

These 31 projects, of which 17 are in the Twin Cities and the rest in Greater Minnesota, are investing a combined total of $344.3 million and creating more than 1,800 jobs.

DEED Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon said in a release that the Job Creation Fund has been an important economic development tool that is encouraging growth in Minnesota. McKinnon added that the program has been a major success story in supporting companies throughout the state, from Cottonwood to Duluth, in their efforts to create jobs and invest in growth.

JCF has won awards from state and national economic development associations. Earlier this year in Jan, the Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) named DEED for its Economic Development Initiative Award for launching the Job Creation Fund.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies likewise recognized the program last year, calling it one of the most innovative finance programs in the country.

Businesses can apply for up to $1 million in JCF funding subject to their meeting certain criteria that includes minimum levels of job creation and investments. Applicants are required to create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 in order to be eligible for financial assistance through JCF.

The biggest and most recent project that received JCF incentives is the expansion by window and door manufacturing company Anderson Corp. The company announced an investment of $56 million and creation of 300 jobs for expanding operations in Bayport, North Branch and Cottage Grove, MN.

Medical device maker Cardiovascular Systems was approved for JCF incentives for a new $30 million headquarters project in New Brighton, MN that is creating 200 jobs.

Another major project supported by JCF incentives was the $20 million Polaris Industries expansion in Plymouth, MN that included the creation of 100 new jobs. Clinical trial company Axis Clinicals is likewise getting JCF incentives for investing $12 million and creating 100 new jobs to establish its first U.S. research and analysis facility on the site of a former Wal-Mart store in Dilworth, MN.

Other companies that have been approved to receive JCF incentives in the last 12 months include Super Radiator Coils, TEAM Industries, Daikin Applied Americas, Harmony Enterprises, Capital Safety, Ikonics Corp., North Star Mutual Insurance Co., and DC Group.

State, Federal Officials Tour US EDA-Funded Rhode Island Economic Development Projects

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and U.S. Senator for Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse were joined by Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, Governor Gina Raimondo, RI Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor and other state and local officials on a tour of the state.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island (photo – taberandrew/flickr)

The group visited various Rhode Island economic development projects and facilities that have received EDA funding. Since 2009, the EDA has invested over $37 million into various projects in Rhode Island.

They also met with Rhode Island businesses and discussed how the EDA could continue supporting economic growth and job creation in the state.

In Newport, they visited the site of proposed business incubator Newport TechWorks. Last year, the EDA announced a grant of more than $1.6 million to help the City of Newport redevelop and reuse the 33,000-square-foot former Sheffield public school building and transform it into a collaborative work environment for small technology startups and entrepreneurs.

In Narragansett, they toured the Port of Galilee, which received $2.9 million from the EDA two years as part of a $5.8 million infrastructure repair project at the port. The Port of Galilee is home to 240 commercial fishing vessels, and accounts for a significant part of the $200 million RI fishing industry.

Sen. Whitehouse said in a release that EDA funding is giving Rhode Island employers the tools they need to grow and hire, and it’s helping to build infrastructure that makes the state a more attractive place to do business.

Sen. Whitehouse added that as the state’s economy continues to rebound, they’re going to need more investments like this, and added that he believes this visit helped Assistant Secretary Williams and his team at EDA see that sending federal dollars to the Ocean State will continue to pay off.

Assistant Secretary Williams said he was honored to see first-hand how Rhode Island is working collaboratively to build on its impressive history as a manufacturing and maritime engine.

They also attended a manufacturing forum at Hall Spars and Rigging in Bristol, RI to meet with leaders from Rhode Island composites manufacturing companies.

They toured EDA-funded projects around the Quonset Business Park and the Port of Davisville. The EDA has announced many investments in the area, including nearly $4 million for the Romano Vineyard Way Bridge and $6 million for the Zarbo Avenue Bulkhead.

The Quonset Business Park is a former military base and now a state-owned business and industrial park that has nearly 200 companies on-site and more than 10,000 people working there. The Port of Davisville at Quonset is one of the top ten auto importers in North America.

Quonset Development Corporation Managing Director Steven King said in the release that EDA funded projects play a critical role in their efforts to grow more jobs, increase economic development, and support the companies within the Park.

King said they are grateful for the opportunity to show Assistant Secretary Williams how these projects are helping to move Rhode Island forward, and added that they look forward to working with the EDA on more projects in the future.

West Plains, Missouri OzSBI Incubator Gets U.S. Economic Development Administration Grant

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded Downtown West Plains, Inc. a $672,870 grant for an expansion of the Ozark Small Business Incubator (OzSBI).

OzSBI

OzSBI (photo – ozsbi.com)

The EDA investment will help the incubator expand its service offerings, and support regional economic development efforts aimed at revitalizing the seven-county area served by OzSBI and providing more job opportunities.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said in a release announcing the grant that providing opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish in distressed communities is core to EDA’s mission and values.

Assistant Secretary Williams added that this EDA grant will expand critical assistance for local entrepreneurs as they work to launch new businesses and create jobs in the Ozark region.

Apart from the regional impact of enhanced OzSBI services, the EDA investment also supports West Plains economic development since the OzSBI is housed in the former Butler Furniture Building. This is a historic structure that is more than a century old and is located in the historical district in Downtown West Plains.

The EDA grant enables the building’s historic preservation by rehabilitating and renovating the existing space to accommodate the expansion of OzSBI’s programs and services.

EDA’s investment furthermore leverages available local funding, because the grantee already has other local partners committed to supporting this project. This includes financial support from banks, and a partnership from Missouri State University-West Plains.

The renovation includes 9,200 square feet on the building’s second floor and building upgrades that will combine to create more usable spaces for offices, break rooms and conference space. The project also includes fiber layout to provide more reliable IT services to the incubator’s clients.

The Ozark Small Business Incubator was launched in Jan 2012 after a long process that began in 2005. Back in April 2005, the SBA named the West Plains area as the top new business creator in Missouri. Downtown West Plains, Inc. immediately established a committee to look into the feasibility of an incubator that could help these new businesses and entrepreneurs be successful and grow their business.

OzSBI now provides startups and entrepreneurs not just mentorship and office space, but also assistance with business training and development, and with marketing and promotion counseling. Not to mention networking opportunities that can help start and grow a business, and access to capital up to $25,000. This is from a revolving loan fund, and the funding can be used as a secondary loan or gap financing to supplement start-up capital or a bank loan.

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