FLEMING ISLAND – With the leadership of the Clay Board of County Commissioners and the county manager, the Clay County Chamber has been awarded funds to start a new business incubator in Clay County. The public-private partnership will launch a unique program to help new and existing small businesses in Clay.
The incubator will help speed up the growth of local businesses, as well as assist those in the early stage of development. With the $850,000 grant from the Clay BCC, the Chamber will be able to provide this assistance in Clay County for the first time. The funds were part of the CARES Act money provided to the county by the federal government for COVID-19 relief programs.
The money will allow for the purchase and renovation of a facility dedicated to small business and will house the operations of the business incubator. The building will be owned by Clay County and leased to the Chamber. The incubator project is also supported by the Clay Economic Development Council and the Clay County Development Authority as a collaborative effort to help businesses in the county.
Operating funds for the incubator will be generated by Chamber sponsors and investors, according to Chamber President Wendell Chindra. It will be an independent entity with its own budget and operations, under the umbrella of the Clay Chamber.
“The Clay County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager Howard Wanamaker, and his staff for making an immeasurable investment in our Clay County businesses,” Chindra said.
“Investing in a new business incubator is timely, it will provide immediate assistance for our struggling business community, and help future businesses within our County,” he said. “We will be investing in the future of the small business community as well as helping local business owners to restart and rehire as we recover from the effects of the pandemic.”