Allie Martin

About Allie Martin

Business ‘Incubator’ Expands

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Chuck McIntosh and Scott Chase are collaborating on a project.

Both men run their own companies and both have offices in the Renasant Center for Ideas.

“The office space is very affordable , it’s a very nice , clean facility, something you don’t mind showing off to your clients,” said Chase, owner of Chase Computer Services.

“I’m a big proponent of workforce training in the creative economy in the state and the incubator here is a great place to meet other people of like minds,” said McIntosh, who runs McIntosh Creative Services.

The business incubator opened in 2006 and is operated by the Community Development Foundation. It lowers start up costs for new businesses and provides a wide range of services, such as management and financial training, internet, cable, phone, fax services and equipment.

But the center had run out of room, so it was expanded.

The building’s second floor was originally used by Toyota as its plant was being built in Blue Springs. Now, Modern Woodmen of America Financial Advisor Jim Brown’s offices are there.

“This building has helped my business immensely, facilities here are state of the art, and the cost is competitive as well,” Brown said.

A few doors down, Daniel Hicks is busy with his graphic design firm.

“Having a space like this, a business incubator, it’s a financial investment, but really helps your business because you are around a community of other entrepreneurs and business owners,” said Hicks, who owns Fame Creative.

That’s one reason Karen Salters leased a cubicle for her event planning company.

“Wonderful, this is my beginning, I believe small beginnings are huge factors. I’m excited about that, so excited about that,” said Uniquely Yours owner Salters.

That excitement is contagious, especially when you hear about success stories from the incubator. Since its construction, the Renasant Center for Ideas has graduated 15 businesses into the community, providing more than 370 jobs for the area. With the expansion there are even more opportunities for small businesses to get a strong start before launching out on their own.

www.cdfms.org