Santa Fe, New Mexico
CDBG 30th Anniversary Recognition of Excellence
The "business incubator" concept is a very successful method for creating strong businesses. Since opening in December 1997, the Santa Fe Business Incubator has developed 45 companies that have created over 260 new jobs and increased tax revenues. The City of Santa Fe provides Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Business Incubator to expand economic opportunities for persons of low and moderate income. The Business Incubator is located in Tierra Contenta, a planned community that focuses on affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents. The 30,000-square foot facility includes office, service and production spaces, along with meeting rooms, break areas and administrative spaces.
The objective of the Business Incubator is to assist the participants in increasing their economic opportunities by helping them start and grow their own successful businesses and create more jobs. This program provides rent subsidies, special technical assistance and educational opportunities for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs, and assists the participants in attending business seminars and workshops. Through their participation in the Business Incubator, these entrepreneurs are exposed to professional business practices, consulting and technical assistance. They also have the use of a full-range business facility, a business library and resource room, workshops and business training. They have access to the help and support of the Business Incubator's CEO, staff, the Advisory Council, and other entrepreneurs in the Business Incubator. Most clients stay approximately three years before "graduating" into commercial space in the community.
CDBG funds are used to fund the Low- and Moderate-Business Opportunity Program (BOP). The BOP is especially important in that it provides intensive assistance to low- and-moderate-income entrepreneurs in Santa Fe where high rents and labor costs make it difficult to start and grow new businesses. The Business Incubator is a very successful tool for creating strong businesses and the BOP makes its programs more readily accessible to lower income members of the community.
Since 1998, the Santa Fe Business Incubator and the Business Opportunity Program achievements include:
- 12 companies have created 35 new jobs.
- Of the seven companies currently enrolled in the BOP, five are women- and/or minority-owned businesses.
- One BOP company increased revenues by 32 percent last year. Another achieved a 25 percent revenue growth.
In addition to the BOP program, the Business Incubator received $60,000 in planning funds from CDBG in 1995-1997. Also, the Business Incubator has been awarded a Section 108 Loan Guarantee Grant in the amount of $300,000 for construction of Phase II of Business Incubator and rehabilitation and retrofit of Phase I facility and an Economic Development Initiative grant of $300,000. These funds have not yet been disbursed, but should be available during the first half of FY 2004/05.
Content Archived: April 20, 2011