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DED Awards $500,000 to Aid Small Business Incubators

Recipients include the Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) in West Plains

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) approved seven Missouri small business incubators for a total of $500,000 in tax credits under the Small Business Incubator program.

Each year, the program helps generate private funds to establish a protective facility-based or virtual environment (incubator) and provide small businesses with support and resources to operate. This type of working environment fosters growth and development during a business’s early stages.

“Building a strong network for startups and small businesses is essential to economic development,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “We’re proud to support so many incubators through this program and appreciate all the work they do to drive entrepreneurship in Missouri.”  

Since the inception of the program, 23 Missouri incubators have been certified. 

Sponsor contributions received by an approved incubator within the calendar year may qualify for tax credits. Decisions are made on a first-come basis until the program’s annual funding limit is reached.    

The following incubators have been approved for 2019:

• The eFactory (Springfield) $100,000

• Center for Emerging Technologies (St. Louis) $95,000

• MU Life Science Business Incubator (Columbia) $85,162

  Joseph Newman Business and Technology Innovation Center (St. Joseph) $65,074

• Ozarks Small Business Incubator (West Plains) $55,264

• St. Louis Fashion Fund (St. Louis) $50,000  

• IT Entrepreneur Network (St. Louis) $49,500

Incubators may use the funds for working capital and other non-operating expenditures that support new business creation.

“Funds raised through tax credits enables OzSBI to expand its services, including our business workshops and seminars, financial planning tools for entrepreneurs, and our diverse mentoring network,” OzSBI Executive Director Heather Fisher said. “Funds can also be used for improvement to our space, allowing OzSBI to meet the needs and growth of our entrepreneurs. Donors who contribute to our tax credit program not only build the OzSBI network; they also invest in the growth of our community’s economy through local entrepreneurs.”