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Local

Dixon Main Street creates business incubator program

DIXON – Dixon Main Street aims to hatch fledgling businesses in its downtown storefront.

The organization merged into the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and Main Street and is in the process of moving into its new digs down the street at 87 S. Hennepin Ave., where it will be in charge of the city’s marketing, tourism and business outreach.

The office at 115 S. Hennepin Ave., its home since 1993, will become the Dixon Main Street Incubator, geared toward giving space to new and growing businesses that plan to move into the city.

The goal is to fill the space by the end of the year. The site likely will hold one business at time, said Scott Brown, one of the board members spearheading the incubator program.

Main Street will provide support, focusing on developing the company by providing discounted rent and promoting it after its stay in the incubator, which could range from a year to 18 months.

Candidates must be new or existing businesses that haven’t operated from a commercial building in the city during the past year, and must be open to the public to provide products or services to walk-in customers.

“The incubator is open to all types of businesses looking to grow, develop and become part of the downtown Dixon community,” Brown said.

The group also is coordinating with the Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College and sees the program as a piece in a regional economic development puzzle.

A selection committee will review applications, which will ask for details on the business’ goals, product information, building needs, investment and commitment, employees, and a business plan and synopsis.

The purpose of the program is to “help diversify businesses, commercialize technologies, create jobs, build downtown traffic, and shield new businesses from the harsh environment they face during the first few years of existence” and provide continued use of the building.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said the incubator can help a businesses keep costs down while building a name for itself.

“The early stages of a business can be incredibly crucial going forward,” he said. “This is an opportunity to help them get off the ground and get launched with the goal of becoming a long-term business in the community.”

HOW TO APPLY

Email riverfrontdixon@gmail.com for an application or more information on the Dixon Main Street Incubator Program.

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