RISE Seeking Long Term Support For Business Incubator

ValleyBiz Story |

In a media release on October 28, 2019, Swan Valley Regional Initiative for a Strong Economy (RISE) announced their intention to purchase the former Minitonas Early Years School for the purpose of creating a Business Incubator.

RISE is in the final stage of negotiations with the Swan Valley School Division for the purchase of the school and is seeking a long term funding commitment from local municipalities of $140,000 per year in order to proceed. “To go year by year and not have the full amount requested is going to make it very difficult for that kind of a project to run.” said Courtney Densen, Chairperson of RISE.

In 2019 the municipalities have agreed to contribute just under 30% of the requested funding, as follows:
Full $11,725 from the RM of Mountain
1/2 of the $47,512 requested from the Municipality of Swan Valley West
1/3 of the $29,792 requested from the Municipality of Minitonas-Bowsman
None of the $50,970 requested from the Town of Swan River

According to Densen, once the funding has been committed, the next steps would include a cost benefit analysis and business plan for the Business Incubator project. The objective of the Business Incubator will be to help new and start-up companies develop by providing low-cost space and office services. “If someone really enjoys being a plumber or an electrician, that doesn’t necessarily translate into doing all the business and paperwork, so it is handling that side of it for them.” said Densen.

Entrepreneurs with a feasible business idea and workable business plan could apply for a term of one to three years. The cost for businesses to operate out of the incubator is still unknown but it would be based on the building’s utilities, property taxes, staffing, services provided and number of businesses. The goal is to have the businesses cover all of the expenses.

There are potentially six office spaces on the top floor. The Sunflower Early Learning Centre would continue to operate independently from the lower level and businesses would also have access to that level as a meeting and training space.