April 01, 2002 11:00 pm

Incubator will give

startups a leg-up

Union County is on the verge of getting its first incubator for emerging businesses. The Union County Economic Development Corporation is in the process of setting up an incubator in a 12,200-square-foot-building at the airport. The building will allow the owners of small startup businesses to save on overhead while getting their ideas off the ground.

SO WHAT'S AN incubator? Its what the name implies, except in the world of business its a place where new enterprises and new ideas can be hatched. Many communities have benefited from such buildings. Businesses that go into them share in the overhead costs of the building, including rent, office support, utilities and so on. Overhead kills a lot of start-ups. The idea behind an incubator is to provide a leg-up on getting started.

The building at the airport was donated to UCEDC by Community Bank, which had to foreclose on a company that didnt survive. UCEDC is in the process of setting up a 12-person advisory board for the center. The boards goal will be to facilitate the growth of small business. The incubator is being set up as a non-profit organization run by the advisory board.

ONCE THE INCUBATOR is up and running, it will provide a good opportunity and an incentive for new businesses. Overhead often is what makes or breaks a new business and prevents some business plans from even being funded. The concept UCEDC is pursuing makes sense and is long overdue. It could take time to fill the building and realize its potential, but if everyone has patience the resource will eventually pay off for Union Countys economy.


A Union County law enforcement officer has more protection from life-threatening injuries thanks to a group of local youths.

Officer Collin has his own bulletproof vest because Lindsay Lankford and other members of Faith Lutheran Churchs confirmation class decided he needed one and took it upon themselves to raise funds to buy a Kevlar vest for the the K-9 cop. The group, which also included Tami Gillies, Leah Van Laarhoven and Craig Moschkau, are to be commended for their efforts.

TOGETHER THEY RAISED $675 from area businesses, organizations and individuals. The vest will protect the dog whenever he is sent ahead of officers into a building on searches or in other dangerous situations.

Weve all read about police dogs being killed in the line of duty. Most often the dogs lives could have been saved if they had had a bulletproof vest.

Its a neat thing you kids did, Sheriff Steve Oliver told Lankford and Gillies. (Collin is) just like another officer to us.