An opportunity we can’t afford to waste |

An opportunity we can’t afford to waste

With a $50,000 grant in hand and an effort under way to gather another $58,000 as matching funds, the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership seems well on its way to establishing the area’s first business incubator project.

A business incubator helps entrepreneurs take an idea through the steps of becoming a viable business by providing education, support services and sometimes, funding.

It can also help existing business through access to technology they might not have on their

own and through continued education.

We think this is a good idea for Craig and Moffat County for a variety of reasons.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the area’s economy. But smaller businesses face larger challenges in getting off the ground not only from a standpoint of capital resources but on technical issues, such as managing day-to-day operations and setting long-term goals.

While the business incubator project cannot take anyone’s idea and make it a success story, it can assist a person who may have an innovative venture concept but who has little knowledge in running a business.

It can also help someone who already has an established business expand if he or she wants.

If the resources are already out there, it makes sense to bring them together so wheels don’t have to be reinvented and solid, innovative ideas of entrepreneurs don’t die on the drawing board.

According to the National Business Incubation Association and Small Business Administration, there is a greater than 80 percent chance that an “incubated” business will survive its first five years compared to the less than 25 percent survival rate of non-incubated businesses.

Some may say this is the economic equivalent of the thinning of the herd.

We, however, think this project has merit and could bring necessary economic diversification as well as cultivate individuals who could become our business leaders of the future.

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