Brown Touts YBI as Model for Nation


Brown Touts YBI as Model for Nation

Youngstown Business Journal – YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is touting the Youngstown Business Incubator downtown as a model for other programs as he promotes legislation aimed at helping to support similar business-assistance efforts.

Brown, D-Ohio, is introducing legislation, the Business Incubator Promotion Act, which would provide funding to support incubators through the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

With some 50 incubators, Ohio may be the “best in the nation” at forming and using incubators to grow businesses, he said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. YBI helped get Youngstown recognized as “one of the best cities in America to start a new business” — a distinction conferred by Entrepreneur magazine, he noted – and helped launch Turning Technologies, a startup recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

Brown’s legislation would provide EDA grants through a competitive process, which would help regions introduce new businesses and assist existing ones by providing support services. The legislation also would ensure economically distressed communities have access to funds from EDA, which would provide “early seed financial support for business development” to communities suffering from “severe economic hardship” and high unemployment, he said.

YBI is among the best known and most visible incubators because of its downtown location “and because it’s helped Youngstown fight back,” Brown said. Just as Youngstown was a model for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the enforcement of trade laws with the V&M Star project, he observed, the city “could be a model here, too.”

An EDA study shows that for every $10,000 provided by the agency to fund business incubators, between 47 and 69 local jobs are generated, Brown said.

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