Monday, November 24, 2008

Hoffman's Main Street Galleria a small business incubator

excerpted from Grant County Herald

There's a bit of a renaissance going on in downtown Hoffman. After several businesses closed in the past four years, the town now has a new appliance store, the newly opened Hoffman Mall with a health care center, second hand store and library, and now the Main Street Galleria, an incubator for small businesses. The galleria offers a low-risk environment for businesses to co-op costs for the building, infrastructure, advertising and staff time.

Currently there are 18 small businesses that operate out of Main Street Galleria. They rent space by the foot and pay for it in cash of volunteer hours by helping run the central cash register and assisting customers. There's quilting and scrapbooking stores, a coffee shop and an Internet kiosk, a gift shop and dollar store, plus even a carpet and flooring remnant outlet run by the former owner of the building. Plus a lot more.

The idea for the business incubator came from the Hoffman Economic Development Authority (HEDA). It was patterned after other such ventures, including a successful Wadena mall that graduated five businesses into their own locations, revitalizing that city's downtown.

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