Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fw: Delta Bridge Project announces $20,000 grant to study feasibility of Phillips County business incubator

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From: "Dominik Mjartan"
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 16:22:48 -0500
To: <mayorjfvalley@gmail.com>
Subject: Delta Bridge Project announces $20,000 grant to study feasibility of Phillips County business incubator

Feb. 24, 2009 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dominik Mjartan (501) 372-4201 ext. 27 dmjartan@southernfp.org

Delta Bridge Project announces $20,000 grant to study feasibility of Phillips County business incubator
Creation of business incubator is key recommendation in Phillips County Strategic Community Plan and Helena-West Helena Downtown Master Plan


HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark.-The Delta Bridge Project has awarded a $20,000 grant to study the feasibility of developing a business incubator at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas' historic downtown Ohio Street building, Delta Bridge Project Steering Committee Chairman Elijah Mondy announced today.


The feasibility study will be conducted by the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), a community-based economic organization that serves the 29 counties of the Appalachian region of Ohio. ACEnet has also worked outside the Appalachian region including work with the Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage


The Ohio Street building in historic downtown Helena-West Helena is ready for occupation and has a current tenant, the Quapaw Canoe Company, which would benefit from business incubator support. Should the feasibility study recommend development of a business incubator, Phillips Community College of the U of A would work to implement the study's recommendations within 12 months using a combination of public and private grant funds.


"This feasibility study will both assess the need for a business incubator and provide a specific roadmap for how to structure the project and create a specialized incubator that would best serve the needs of the local market," Mondy said.


The Delta Bridge Project is a comprehensive community development initiative in Phillips County. The goals of the Delta Bridge Project are outlined in the Phillips County Strategic Community Plan, which was developed by more than 300 Phillips County residents during an 18-month strategic planning process.  


The business incubator grant directly addresses Goal Number 11 of the Strategic Community Plan: "Implement programming in Phillips Community College's Small Business Incubator facility to provide services to small business owners and potential owners." Additionally, creation of a business incubator is a key recommendation of the Helena-West Helena Downtown Master Plan, which highlights the need for an incubator to provide space and technical assistance to facilitate the growth of new small businesses.


The Strategic Community Plan is a blueprint for community development with 46 strategic goals and nearly 200 action steps-workable plans of action that provide organized community engagement in a comprehensive process involving each of the five fundamental pillars of community life: economic development; housing; education; leadership development; and health care.


The Delta Bridge Project has achieved unprecedented success bringing projects to reality and leveraging a total $64 million in investments to Phillips County since the first edition of the Strategic Community Plan was released in August 2005.



The Delta Bridge Project is spearheaded by Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit lender and community development organization founded in 1986. Southern Good Faith Fund, Southern Bancorp Capital Partners and Southern Bancorp Community Development Corporation are affiliates of Southern Bancorp, a $600 million rural development bank holding company with banking operations in Arkansas and Mississippi working to transform rural economies by stimulating investments in people, jobs, businesses, and property.


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