Entrepreneurs welcome added site for business incubator in Fruita
Of the 700 companies licensed to trade in Fruita, about 300 do not have a city address. Some of those are operating from the kitchen table at home, Business Incubator Center Executive Director Jon Maraschin said.
Enabling home-based entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level is one of the goals of the Incubator’s new Fruita satellite office, located at 325 Aspen Ave., Fruita Mayor Lori Buck said.
To welcome the Incubator to Fruita, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Friday and conclude at a nearby pub, Maraschin said.
“We’re going to do (the grand opening) Fruita style. It will be fun,” he said.
Early this summer, Fruita partnered with the Incubator to open the 2,000-square-foot satellite at the Fruita Civic Center in space formerly occupied by the Mesa County Public Library District. The city contributed $21,000 to the cost of remodeling the space and donated furniture, Buck said.
“We’re really hoping that new and existing businesses use the services and continue to operate in Fruita. That’s the goal, to keep those businesses here. We are business-friendly and we want to see them stay and contribute,” she said.
To start, the satellite office will be open to Incubator members from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays, though operating hours could change, Maraschin said.
“We’ll bend over backward. If there’s a need and people say we want to be there on Monday, we’ll find a way to make it work. Our goal is to do whatever we need to do to facilitate and help those businesses,” he said.
Services available to members at the Incubator’s primary location in Grand Junction will also be available in Fruita, including office space at a discounted rate, high-speed Internet, secretarial support staff, business coaches and classes designed to teach business fundamentals. Representatives from the Incubator’s loan program, enterprise zone program and others will rotate through the office.
“The economy is not going to get better by itself. We’re hoping this is a way that we can kind of roll up our sleeves and pitch in,” said Maraschin, who was born and raised in Fruita.