By Tiffany Harris
In Mercer County, the city of Bluefield was given a grant from the Economic Development Administration on Thursday October 20, 2016 to help the Commercialization Station on Bluefield Avenue. That station is designed to help grow small manufacturing businesses. U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins announced the $2,040,000 grant from the EDA. It was coupled with a $510,000 grant from the Shott Foundation. The grant is going towards renovating the Commercialization Station.
Community and Economic Development Director Jim Spencer said, "This incubator can serve any business in the region. It's not just about businesses within the city. It's about the region. We're in this together. Economic development is a team sport. We got a group of partners that will try to help them be successful. We want to support them."
The building was vacant for about 4 or 5 years. It will have 5 bays and it will be able to serve 5 businesses at once. It also used to house the Bluefield Transit Authority.
Dan Shortridge is a member of the Development Authority of Greater Bluefield. He thinks this is a great opportunity for Bluefield. Shortridge said, "Someone can bring their existing idea and in an environment that is a factory type environment. They can grow their business by building, by creating it."
Spencer hopes the renovations will begin by this winter. Anyone interested in applying as an incubator business can go to mybluefield.org.