Commerce eyes revival of biz incubator program

Posted on Sep 30 2008

The Department of Commerce is eyeing a plan to revive a program that once operated in the CNMI designed to fostering the growth of small local businesses.

In an interview Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Michael Ada disclosed plans to work with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Commonwealth Development Authority to revive the Small Business Development Center, a program that once operated out of the Northern Marianas College and is credited with helping several entrepreneurs get their businesses started.

“This is to help develop businesses so they can get on their own and then get out and get started,” Ada said.

The center would provide assistance to entrepreneurs such as access to fax and Internet services, temporary office and meeting space and other resources, Ada added. He plans to send a letter on the issue to the officials who would be tasked with funding the program under the Pacific Island Small Business Development Center Network, a program operated out of the University of Guam, he said.

Currently, he noted, the CNMI and Ponhpei are the only two Pacific island regions that are not taking part in the PISBDCN’s program.

“My goal is to get this thing opened up as soon as possible,” he said. “They seem open to it.”

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