This month, I’m happy to celebrate the opening of another new business in downtown Independence.
The Independence Hops and Barrel House will create a solid link to Independence’s history as the hop capital of the world by featuring a variety of craft beers as well as many of the great wines from our region.
What excites me about this business is that it is a tangible example of the positive, entrepreneurial climate in Independence.
The owner of the Hops and Barrel House has many years of experience in the restaurant industry, but this is his first try at running his own business.
That’s a big step.
Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy and self-image, but running your own business is an inherently risky proposition. Fortunately, we have the resources in Independence to support entrepreneurs and enhance their chances for success.
Most entrepreneurs are good at certain things: making a great hamburger, fabricating a widget, cleaning houses. Few start their businesses with a solid knowledge of business operations: marketing, accounting, management, hiring and such.
That’s where the city of Independence has been able to help. Through a partnership with the Greater Independence Business Incubator, we can offer technical assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs on a variety of business topics.
Local entrepreneurs can take a MERIT (Microenterprise Resources, Initiatives and Training) class to develop their business plans, get one-on-one consulting with our local small-business expert and get referrals to financial institutions or other more specialized consulting opportunities — all at little or no cost.
As our economy slowly recovers, entrepreneurs will be at the forefront. They’re the risk-takers, the ones who find niches and develop business models to capitalize on them.
In Independence, we’re well-positioned to capture this wave of new business development. We’re centrally located in the valley with a good local and regional work force, we have affordable properties, we’re an easy city to work with, and we have a great fiber to the home telecommunications infrastructure that will support businesses that haven’t even been thought of yet.
Most importantly, Independence is a community that embraces entrepreneurship. From our pioneer ancestors to our development of a state-of-the-art fiber-optic telecommunication network, we recognize that you have to take calculated risks in order to succeed.
Our commitment to opening and supporting a business incubator is a clear example that we are business-friendly. Entrepreneurship and Independence always will be linked, and the attitude embodied by both ideals will help lead us to a more prosperous future.
If you or someone you know is interested in opening a business, get in touch with our business incubator Marie Trucco at m [dot] trucco [dot] gibi [at] minetfiber [dot] com or (503) 837-0783. If you know of someone with an existing business who wants to be part of a positive, prosperous business environment, contact our economic development director Shawn Irvine at sirvine [at] ci [dot] independence [dot] or [dot] us or (503) 837-1191.
We would love to have your business in town.
John McArdle is mayor of Independence. Contact him at mcardle [dot] john [at] ci [dot] independence [dot] or [dot] us. Shawn Irvine contributed to this column.