A Community of Entrepreneurs
Independence is an entrepreneurial community that believes in getting new businesses started and helping our existing businesses grow. Our small town quality of life combined with big city amenities like high-speed internet make Independence a destination for entrepreneurs looking to slow down and get out of the city without losing touch or losing their edge. We leverage a network of local, regional and state resources to make it easy to start or grow a business in Independence.
If you live in Polk County, have a business idea and want some help getting started, this is the place to find it.
MERIT presents the Polk Rural Business Springboard—an intensive 11-week series that will help you examine the feasibility of your business concept, assess your personal readiness, identify the steps you need to take and provide access to the people and information you need to successfully launch your business.
Classes will cover personal financial management, legal formation, licensing and registration, bookkeeping, access to capital and developing a plan to operate the business. Class size will be limited, and registration is restricted to rural Polk County residents (living outside the City of Salem) that meet MERIT’s selection criteria. More Info
Small Business Consulting Services
Need help refining your business processes? Worried to that your accounting systems aren't up to snuff? Looking to explore new markets for your products? sirvine [at] ci [dot] independence [dot] or [dot] us (Talk to our Economic Development Director) and he can connect you with consulting resources and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Don't forget - the federal government considers all businesses with less than 500 employees to be "small".
Independence Enterprise Zone
Enterprise zones are designed to encourage business investment through property tax relief. In exchange for locating or expanding into an enterprise zone, eligible (generally non-retail) businesses receive total exemption from the property taxes normally assessed on new plant and equipment, for 3 to 5 years. Independence's enterprise zone encompasses the community's entire industrial zone. Learn more about the zone and its potential benefits.