Phil Castle, The Business Times
The Business Incubator Center will soon open a satellite operation in Fruita to assist existing businesses as well as help launch new ventures.
Jon Maraschin, executive director of the center, said the operation should open within weeks on the second floor of the Civic Center, located at 325 E. Aspen Ave.
The facility will be located in about 1,700 square feet of space previously occupied by the Fruita branch of the Mesa County Library.
The facility will offer desks, work stations and broadband Internet access, Maraschin said.
Office hours will be scheduled so staff from the center will be available to meet with entrepreneurs, he added.
The Business Incubator Center offers a range of services, including free and low-cost counseling and classes, low-cost space with shared services and financing through a revolving loan fund.
“We’re bringing our services to Fruita,” Maraschin said.
The satellite operation is expected to assist existing businesses in part by offering space to startups that might be operating out of homes or garages, he said.
The operation also will help in launching new ventures. Maraschin said he’s particularly excited about the potential for businesses associated with mountain biking and other outdoor activities for which Fruita is becoming increasingly well known.
The Fruita operation also constitutes another step in offering the services of the Business Incubator Center to a larger geographic area of Western Colorado, including such communities as Collbran, DeBeque and Palisade. The Small Business Development Center that operates at the Business Incubator Center already serves an area well beyond the Grand Valley and Mesa County, Maraschin said.
Fruita City Manager Clint Kinney said the city supports the operation with space and funding.
The operation is one part of a plan initially developed in 2011 to promote economic development and job growth, Kinney said. “It’s going to be a great partnership.”