Lawrence County EDC Gets $45K for Incubator Study

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – A $45,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant will support Lawrence County Economic Development Corp.’s efforts to establish a business incubator.

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of Butler, R-16th, informed the development corporation last week that it has received the grant, according to an LCEDC news release. The funds will be used to help pay for a business incubator planning study for Lawrence County.

The total cost for the study is expected to be about $90,000, Diane Richardson, LCEDC assistant director, said. The development corporation has committed to providing matching funds for the grant but plans to reach out to some of its partners for assistance as well.

Development of a business incubator was among the recommendations in the Forward Lawrence report. The planning study will help to evaluate the best incubator model or models to meet community needs, identify the optimum location and size of the facility, determine the types of services and business assistance programs to be provided, identify funding sources and develop a performance plan to track success.  

“There’s many different kinds of business incubators,” Richardson said.

LCEDC, Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence County Regional Chamber Foundation operate as a partnership under the Forward Lawrence name.

Forward Lawrence recently hired a new CEO, Ben Bush, who will have input about how the study will move forward and what direction he wants to go in with the incubator, Richardson said. 

“We’re probably going to take about 90 days to just regroup and formulate a plan. Once we know a little bit more about which direction that we want to go in, then I would expect that the total project would be over and done with from start to finish within 12 months,” Richardson said.

Pictured at top: Downtown New Castle, Pa.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.