Garfield County commissioners give $25K to Carbondale incubator
Garfield County commissioners on Monday approved a $25,000 grant to Coventure, the nonprofit business incubator and co-working space in Carbondale that replaced GlenX.
Mike Lowe, founder of Coventure, believes the organization can help Garfield County and the region become economically diverse by boosting business ideas.
“I’m excited that we’re a team. We see Garfield County as one of our strategic partners,” Lowe said before the commissioners. “I’m hopeful that as we start to grow other businesses, that that will ultimately help grow your budget and allow you to continue to do the important work that you’re doing.”
Lowe described Coventure’s mission as providing “comprehensive business services ranging from education to business incubation to professional services, all under one roof.”
GlenX saw success assisting new businesses get off the ground and educating small business owners in getting to a new phase of growth. In one event, GlenX helped raise more than $1 million in capital investments for five different companies.
Coventure sought $25,000 from the county and from the town of Carbondale, where the organization is renovating a Main Street office building, in order to qualify as a public-private partnership eligible for a Small Business Development Council grant of $50,000.
In a split vote in December, the Carbondale Board of Trustees approved $20,000 in funds.
The county commissioners have been friendlier toward the organization, and see the need for private enterprise to grow the region’s economy. To assist Coventure’s pitch to Carbondale, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky wrote a letter of commitment for Coventure in December, saying the county board had appropriated a grant in the 2019 budget.
Coventure anticipates operational expenditures of around $250,000 in 2019. The SBDC matching grant can be renewed for five years, if the local government bodies continue funding Coventure. Several local businesses and chambers of commerce have also committed grant money to Coventure.
Jankovsky said Coventure is a way to encourage business growth through capitalism.
“Fifteen percent of our economy is government employees, but there’s no reason for government employees to be here if there are no businesses,” Jankovsky said at the Monday meeting.