Main Street incubator to open for business this weekend
With a hearty cheer, Main Street Enterprise cut the ribbon on the incubator shipping container Wednesday morning, signifying the opening of the new business space in downtown.
The repurposed 8’ x 20’ shipping container is provided by Main Street Alabama through a USDA Rural Development grant. The intent is for entrepreneurs to occupy the space to test their small business in the market and eventually expand into a permanent brick and mortar in the downtown area.
The incubator sits in the parking lot of 123 S. Main Street, in an area called “The Nook,” which will serve as an event and gathering space for the community. The Young Main Street committee took on the task of transforming not only the incubator, but the entire space.
“They took on the designing of the container itself, creating a photo-friendly mural that wraps around and is super unique to Enterprise. We are really proud of them,” Main Street Executive Director Mariah Montgomery said. “Our design committee and economic vitality committee have worked hard to make sure this space is a success. We are very excited to welcome small businesses to our Main Street program. None of this would have been possible without Main Street Alabama and USDA.”
The incubator is the fifth of its kind in the state. Others can be found in Heflin, Wetumpka, Monroeville and Jasper. One will be placed in Marion later this month and two more will be added next year in Elba and Anniston.
A wooden stage, concrete planters full of flowers, and string lights now fill the former parking lot surrounding the incubator. Inside, balloons in canisters in rainbow order line shelves, as Circle City Balloon Co. prepares for its grand opening this weekend in conjunction with the Back 2 School bash. The all-women owned business was selected in early June from a pool of applicants to be the first to occupy the space.