SUU’s SBDC Secures $28,000 for Incubator Space

Published: September 13, 2021 | Author: Carson Brown | Read Time: 2 minutes

To further develop the economies of Utah’s rural communities, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, through the Office of Rural Development, recently awarded Southern Utah University $28,000 as part of its Rural Co-working and Innovation Center Grant Program.

In partnership with Southwest Technical College, SUU secured round one Rural Co-working and Innovation Center (RCIC) funding in 2020 to renovate the Business Resource Center’s incubator space within the rural Small Business Development Center in Cedar City. Round two RCIC funding will furnish and equip the newly renovated coworking space. This space was designed to provide rural remote workers and collaborative teams the infrastructure and equipment needed to participate in the online workforce. The new furnishings include adjustable and adaptable workspaces complete with state-of-the-art technology.

Cedar City and southern Utah have always been proud of their entrepreneurial spirit, being home to many entrepreneurial endeavors ranging from meat-packing to casino software development. “The growth and development of technology and diversity of business is the foundation of any healthy economy,” said Craig Isom, SUU’s SBDC director and the principal investigator (PI) who helped secure both rounds of RCIC grant funding.Craig Isom, SUU’s SBDC Director

Isom believes the upgrades made possible through RCIC funds will stimulate an influx of higher-paying virtual jobs and growth of small business in Cedar City and lay the foundation for a healthier economy. And he hopes RCIC funding is just the beginning. Although a refuge of ideas and development are absolutely necessary for the growth of small businesses, what is really needed is seed funding. Isom hopes that as the center grows, so will support from federal funding sources. The ultimate goal is to grow a fund of seed capital to facilitate small business startups and growth.

As the center continues to develop, it will become an instrumental resource for the community at large. Once renovations are complete this fall, the space will be open for public use. For more information about SUU’s Small Business Development Center.

Because Isom’s RCIC project was competing against other projects from around the state, he relied on assistance from SUU’s SPARC (Sponsored Projects, Agreements, Research, and Contracts) Office to produce a winning grant proposal.

“The SPARC team comes with great expertise," said Isom. "They are skilled at finding money to accomplish the things we want to do and extremely supportive of the process it takes to secure funding. I am a believer that I really do need SPARC—they are very good at what they do!”

SUU’s SPARC Office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning through implementation and management of funded projects.

Tags: Small Business Development Center SPARC

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