Grant money pushes innovation hub plans forward

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Plans for an innovation hub in Sharp County are moving forward since the program was awarded a grant.

The newly-formed Spring River Innovation Hub received $20,000 from the Delta Regional Authority to get their building started.

Cherokee Village Director of Placemaking Graycen Bigger said that money would help create a shared workspace to provide small business owners or entrepreneurs with equipment, internet, and mentors.

She said they want to enable them to be successful.

"We have some classes in the works that will be open to people throughout the community,"  Bigger said. "We will also have a kind of marketing shop that we are starting. So, if you're somebody who thinks, 'I've got this great idea but I really struggle with marketing, and I need a great logo or website,' that's where we really want to fill in that gap."

The hub's board is also working to get public-private partnerships started with local businesses.

"FNBC Bank has pledged an additional $12,000, and we're hoping that some more is going to be coming in within the next few months," Bigger said.

A public meeting will be held on Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cherokee Village City Hall to discuss the project.

"We'll be doing a brief presentation just to inform people of what an innovation hub is and give some ideas of what we would like ours to look like," Bigger said. "And then open it up for a question and response time to really find what people need."

Bigger stressed that the innovation hub is not just for Cherokee Village. It is for the entire Spring River area including both Sharp and Fulton Counties.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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