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Church Street Incubator promotes businesses

The Church Street Incubator is open for businesses.

The building, which is located on Church Street in Atmore, is a co-working space to promote economic development downtown by providing small businesses a place to launch, United Bank CDFI Program Manager Jennifer Sanders said.

Sanders said the main goal for the incubator is to become a spot to grow and provide resources. United Bank rents the incubator building from a third party.

“Our goal is that within a year they have grown enough to support themselves out in the Atmore area, whether they move to a building they purchase or rent,” she said.

At present, there are two businesses inside the incubator that have joined since June.

The origin or idea of the incubator has been in the works for the last two years.

Sanders said she started working with United Bank in May.

She said she’s had a couple of other people interested in bringing their businesses to the incubator.

One thing she stressed is that the incubator provides a lot of free resources.

“There is an application process, and they go to a committee,” Sanders said. “If approved, it’s a $10 annual fee for the space. We cover wireless (Internet), we have a printer; office supplies.”

Sanders said the incubator isn’t an event space, but it has served as a spot for several non-profit meetings.

However, Sanders said the goal is for profitable businesses to come into the incubator, like IT, travel agents, real estate or other industry. The only industry that the incubator doesn’t cater to is the food industry, she said.

Pretty soon, traffic will pick up at the incubator as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will set up shop there at the start of the year, Sanders said.

Sanders said she’s excited about the future of the incubator.

“We’re excited about the new businesses that come in,” she said.

Those interested in learning more about the Church Street Incubator or would like to set up their business there can contact Sanders at 446-6119 or email her at jennifer.sanders@unitedbank.com.