Star Beacon – HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — Geneva’s wine and culinary business incubator may get a little help from some federal friends, Sen. Sherrod Brown said Wednesday, as the state takes a hard look at the business of job creation through entrepreneurship.
“Business incubators provide assistance that helps turn viable ideas into viable businesses,” Brown said in a press conference at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante.
The press conference focused on the state’s support of business incubators across Ohio as Brown championed the Business Incubator Promotion Act, which would help economically stressed communities with funds to support business incubators.
“Two-thirds of new jobs are created through small businesses,” Brown said. “We also know those small businesses face challenges getting off the ground. That’s why business incubators are so important.”
While thinking state-wide, Brown focused on Ashtabula County’s own proposed business incubator — Pairings.
The proposed 38,000-square-foot, non-profit business incubator will include restaurant and banquet facilities, cooking classes, wine-making demonstrations, incubator facilities for start-up wineries, educational culinary demonstrations, office space and a gift shop.
Officials hope to hold the groundbreaking for the facility, to be built on Park Street on the former Geneva Elementary property in late 2013.
Pairings will also serve as the home base for Kent State University’s degrees in viticulture and wine making.
Brown said he has seen incubators making big differences in struggling communities, including Youngstown and Zainesville.
“Any incubator sends a message — if you have an idea and you want to be entrepreneur, it’s possible and there is federal help out there to make it happen,” he said. “People have ideas and they want opportunity.”
Brown said the Business Incubator Promotion Act would provide competitive grants to help regions introduce new businesses and expand existing ones.
“This legislation is aimed at helping these regions create higher-skill, higher-wage jobs, meaning that more Ohio communities could support homegrown entrepreneurship,” he said.
For more information on Pairings visit pairingsohio.com.