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The Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial Committee, Bladen County, Bladen Community College, the Town of Elizabethtown and the Elizabethtown – White Lake Chamber of Commerce celebrated the Elizabethtown Small Business Incubator with a Grand Opening on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Many government officials and business leaders gathered at the doors to help celebrate the professional hub.

Former Bladen County Commissioner and long-time Bladen’s Bloomin’ Board member, Billy Ray Pait cut the ribbon during the celebration. Bladen County Economic Development Director Chuck Heustess, Elizabethtown-White Lake Area of Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Leggett, Bladen Community College Board of Trustees Chairman Dennis Tory and Mayor of Elizabethtown Sylvia Campbell all addressed the crowd about the importance of the new incubator.

The incubator is located at 207 E. Broad Street in Elizabethtown. Bladen Community College Small Business Center, Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Pink Passion and Seashore Massage are all currently leasing space in the newly renovated building.

Todd Lyden, Director of the Small Business Center said he has had a lot of foot traffic since moving to the new location from the college campus in Dublin. Lyden offers assistance to people interested in expanding or starting a business. For an appointment with Lyden you may call 910-879-5572.

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One of the Bladen County Economic Development Board members, Howell Clark explained since the county has had a lot of success with the industrial incubators the board thought the small business incubator would be a good idea. In other words he said, the building was going to waste because it was not being used and this provided the opportunity for a blighted property to be renovated, allow new entrepreneurs to start a business with low costs, and hopefully lead to more jobs.

The Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Director Terri Dennison has chamber members’ information on display at the new location. She also just announced new maps and resource guides are available at the office.

Pink Passion, a cosmetic company was the first small business to be a tenant in the new incubator.

The project for the renovations of the building were funded by the USDA Rural Development, Four County Electric Membership Corporation, Bladen County Committee of 100, Star Telephone Communications, Duke Energy, and Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial.

The project costs reached $600,000, according to Heustess. A grant was received from the USDA Rural Development that covered $200,000 of those costs.

Office spaces are still available for small business owners. Contact the Bladen County Economic Development Office at 910-645-2292 for more information.

View clips from the Grand Opening on our YouTube Channel:

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