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‘Business incubator’ opening

There will soon be a new eating spot in downtown Ironton that will not only provide a place where people can enjoy food and beverages, but also where the restaurant’s employees will be receive training to become more efficient and productive workers now and in the future.

The Hub Café is currently under construction at 106 N. Main St. — next door to a small office where Manager John Hagermann is overseeing the work and making plans to hire employees for the cafe — part of a larger project called “The Showroom” — sponsored by the spiritually-based organization, R.E.A.C.T. Arcadia Valley, which is partnered with Iron County Economic Partnership (ICEP).

“REACT stands for Recruiting Entrepreneurs to Assist Communities to Thrive,” Hagermann said. “It’s a division of Luke 16 Corp. which was founded in December 2015 to help rural communities go beyond striving to thriving. To this end, Luke 16 plans expansion into helping develop housing to enhance the desirability of becoming a resident of the area.”

According to Hagermann, in 2017, the Internal Revenue Service designated Luke 16 as a 501(c)3 organization.

“Because of its affiliation with Luke 16, R.E.A.C.T. Arcadia Valley has access to grant opportunities available to 501(c)3 organizations,” he said. “The Hub will operate as a non-profit enterprise that will help prepare young adults to function effectively in the working world. Those who become a part of this program will be mentored by older adults so that they receive more than just training.”

R.E.A.C.T. Arcadia Valley’s board is comprised of a mix of local and out-of-town members.

“There are entrepreneurs and those who have worked with mission activities,” Hagermann explained. “We’re partnering with the Arcadia Valley Ministerial Alliance who will be providing volunteers from local churches to provide a witness to the young adults.”

“Profits from sales at The Hub will be used to support ministerial alliance projects as well as help create a fund to support entrepreneurial endeavors and new housing projects. The Showroom will offer direct support to entrepreneurial ventures.

“There will also be opportunities for advertising local businesses and attractions in a portion of the remaining space. New and creative ideas will find a fertile place to be planted and to grow. Basically, R.E.A.C.T. is focused on developing entrepreneurs — mainly residents of Iron County — by being a small business incubator.”

What is a business incubator and what do they seek to accomplish?

According to Small Business Trends (SBT), Business incubators are “organizations that offer startups shared operation space. In doing so, entrepreneurs enjoy a collaborative work environment with invaluable mentoring and networking opportunities, funding support and shared equipment.”

In short, business incubators offer fledgling young companies a warm, safe place to grow and prosper.

Hagermann admitted that his participation with R.E.A.C.T. Arcadia Valley is offering him a place to grow and prosper as well.

“The incubating process is that we’re wanting people to come in and be trained in how to run a business,” he said. “I, myself, had a small business that I tried to run, and I learned very quickly that I was not prepared for it.

“That’s actually how I ended up getting involved in this project. I tried to start a small business and I approached SEED$ (Southeast Economic Development Fund) about trying to gain some income to be able to build up and they put me in contact with a few people, including ICEP.

“I met with them and that’s how I met a member of the board. We’ve been working off and on trying to figure a way to help each other out with my goals and his goals. Ultimately, I ended up here as part of what I consider with him to be the first mentor/mentee relationship. He’s mentoring me — teaching me how do a business by putting me in this position.”

Anyone wanting more information about R.E.A.C.T. Arcadia Valley or The Hub Café are asked to call 573-432-2250.

“We’re partnering with the Arcadia Valley Ministerial Alliance who will be providing volunteers from local churches to provide a witness to the young adults.” — John Hagermann, manager

Manager John Hagermann is looking forward to the grand opening of The Hub Café at 106 N. Main St. in Ironton where young people will have the opportunity to be mentored in working skills while making money working for a small business.

Manager John Hagermann is looking forward to the grand opening of The Hub Café at 106 N. Main St. in Ironton where young people will have the opportunity to be mentored in working skills while making money working for a small business.

Work is progressing quickly on The Hub Cafe, located at 106 N. Main St., in Ironton. The restaurant will not only provide a place where customers can order a meal or beverage, but will provide

Work is progressing quickly on The Hub Cafe, located at 106 N. Main St., in Ironton. The restaurant will not only provide a place where customers can order a meal or beverage, but will provide “real life” training for its employees. The cafe is part of a small business incubator project by R.E.A.C.T. Arcadia Valley, partnering with the AV Ministerial Alliance and ICEP.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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