Letter: Old library as incubator
This is a follow-up to the letter to the editor from Eric Olander published June 8. I was not very enthusiastic about the proposal by GlenX to turn the old library into a small business incubator, and since I just learned that the new library will provide similar space I am even less enthusiastic.
Small business incubators and technology innovation centers were all the rage in the 1980s and early 1990s and were established in many mid-sized communities as well as universities across the U.S. In most cases they were not profitable and required ongoing subsidies from the local or state government, and if those were not forthcoming, eventually shut down.
I am also dismayed by the proposed board of directors, who consist mainly of public sector economic development and chamber of commerce employees, not successful local entrepreneurs.
An art center is an interesting alternative but is it sustainable without ongoing taxpayer subsidies? There should be a convincing business case.