Rockford will give $3 million to expand a new business development center in the city. The non-profit organization will expand its activities and find a permanent home.
Especially after the pandemic, co-working spaces increasingly became important to growing professional skills. Even universities adopted this format to facilitate networking among students and better productivity.
On the other hand, most of these co-working spaces became business development centers. This format targets minorities, women, and black people to provide new opportunities. The goal was to benefit from remote work opportunities to support entrepreneurs growing their businesses over time.
The complex proposal includes hiring Think Big. It’s been an independent organization providing entrepreneurial training and mentorship since 2018. And the idea is to support women and minority owners to grow their businesses.
Furthermore, SupplyCore CEO Peter Provenzano’s Joseph James Partners will donate the Jerome Interiors building for the project. The building’s value is $350,000, and it will allow the business development center expending its activities.
Rockford will take care of the renovation of the building, investing almost $1.6 million for Think Big’s new space. Finally, the city will cover operation costs for up to five years for a total of $1.3 million ($250,00/year). The project is part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. And Rockford will add $15,000 per month lease – if Think Big provides business assistance services.
The new business development center will offer:
- Consulting services to business owners
- Co-working space
- Incubator services
- Small business programming
- Networking events
To conclude, business development centers and co-working spaces are still relevant strategies to support entrepreneurs and businesses in a post-pandemic scenario.