The Vernal Innovation Hub received the Rural Coworking and Innovation Center Grant, administered by the Go Utah Center for Rural Development. In support of Small Business Week, the Center recognizes the Hub’s extraordinary work to help establish new small businesses.
The Innovation Hub includes several coworking spaces, and private offices are available for new businesses to rent with various options available to meet needs and budgets. Furnished office space, high-speed internet, mail service, copy machines, and a free business license are some of the amenities that each member receives to set them on a successful path.
Recently, a new business owner visited the Innovation Hub to see what they offered. Lori Haslem, managing director of the Hub, said, “He was starting an insurance business, struggling to find an affordable office to rent. Having a facility in the Uintah Basin he can afford has helped him launch his business without creating a lot of debt. He also takes advantage of classes offered each month to educate him on key business concepts.”
The Innovation Hub is an ideal place to start a new business. Its long-term goal is to help business owners grow their businesses over one or two years and then be able to move into Vernal commercial office spaces. This business model allows other startup businesses to occupy private office spaces.
The Innovation Hub also offers monthly business development classes and group meetings. Courses include business finance, marketing, branding, and other business topics of interest to entrepreneurs. It also supports Women Business Owners of the Basin and other groups seeking to attract tech jobs and entrepreneurship in the Uintah Basin.
The Vernal Innovation Hub sponsors the annual Rise & Thrive Business Speed Pitch competition each year. New small business owners compete for cash and prizes to help them develop their businesses. Feedback from contestants who were on the fence about launching their businesses says that participating in the Speed Pitch competition inspired them to press forward to make their business dreams a reality.
Last year’s winner established Market on Main, where small business owners can rent booth space to sell their products. The owner, Trisha Sorenson, now has 30 businesses within her facility and 27 on a waitlist.
The Center for Rural Development is proud to support Vernal City’s Innovation Hub with a Rural Coworking and Innovation Center Grant. We congratulate them on their success in helping to develop new small businesses in the Uintah Basin.