Business incubators have been started in at least two Northwoods counties and Oneida county might also be looking into it.
An incubator works by putting several mostly new small businesses in one building, sharing relatively low rent and utilities with the idea toward growth and eventually leaving the nest.
During this week's Board of Supervisor's meeting, Oneida County Economic Development Corporation Director Roger Luce said critics say the incubator's compete with private sector rentals. He disputes that...
"....to nuture these businesses along, so that in fact they graduate as a financially viable company that can and will support and pay the rent at a private sector spot..."
Luce says after a business has been profitable for six months and hold profit for another three months then you must leave the incubator...
"...we would work with the incubator, whether we were running it or someone else was running it to provide the loans that are out there and available for a business...whether it's through the state or the feds or our own Oneida county economic development program that you all maintain...."
Luce claims for every dollar of public subsidy to a business incubator it will eventually generate $30 dollars in return. Supervisor Jerry Shidell disputed those numbers saying other investments the county has provided, including a "Green Park" on Rhinelander's west side has yet to materialize.
The board took no action.