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Business Incubator Fills Up in Eureka
Wood Development Center gives small businesses a boost in Lincoln County
In a place with stagnant unemployment numbers, any news of economic success is welcome in Lincoln County. That’s the case with the Tobacco Valley Industrial District’s Wood Development Center: Business Incubator Building in Eureka. Just 18 months after the business incubator opened the entire building is full, according to Eureka Rural Development Partners’ Tracy McIntyre.

An incubator building leases space to small businesses that are less than three years old to help the companies get off the ground. Currently, three businesses call the incubator home and while such a building is common in other states, it’s a new concept here in Montana.

“It just gives the business a better chance to survive those first few years when it is so hard to keep a business open,” said McIntyre, the director of the rural development partners, which manages the 22-acre business park. “I hope we’ll see more (buildings) like this in Montana because it’s very common in other states.”

The Tobacco Valley Industrial District was awarded a $634,000 grant in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Commerce, via the Economic Development Administration Community Trade Adjustment Act. Those funds were used to build the four-stall Wood Development Center.

According to McIntyre, each bay is about 1,200 square feet and has some additional space for offices. Among the businesses calling the incubator home are Cabinet Creek Interiors, Media Management Associates and Glacier Peak Holistics, the latter of which has actually expanded into two bays of the facility.

Glacier Peak Holistics owner Deborah Gwynn-Kvasnak started her company in 2009 and makes herbal remedies, as well as daily nutritional formulas, for dogs and horses. Gwynn-Kvasnak previously owned and operated a health food store in Eureka and made the herbal remedies in the backroom. Today, the company has eight employees and hopes to expand. Gwynn-Kvasnak said the business incubator has provided the company a chance to grow and people like McIntyre have helped the new entrepreneur navigate the complicated business world.

“There are aspects of business that I don’t understand and Tracy has helped us so much,” she said. “It’s all been an amazing benefit for us.”

In order to get a spot in the business incubator, a company must have existed for fewer than three years and have a viable business plan. Businesses can be located in the Wood Development Center for three years before they have to move on to another location, hopefully within the 22-acre, 12-lot industrial park.

Tammy Lawler, an industrial district board member, said the project has been a huge success so far.

“It’s going to bring more jobs to the area and it’s an affordable way to help businesses,” she said. “It helps them get their foot in the door to grow and excel.”

For more information about the business park, visit www.tobaccovalleybusinesspark.com.
 
On 02-26-14, Mturner23462 commented....
Glacier Peak Holistics owner Deborah Gwynn-Kvasnak started her company in 2009 and makes herbal remedies, ( 2014 - 2009 = 5 years old) In order to get a spot in the business incubator, a company must have existed for fewer than three years and have a…
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