$40,000 of grant funding will be used to establish a business and community accelerator in Downtown Kennewick and provide educational programming, events, mentoring, access to early stage capital and preparation for businesses to succeed and grow. Many diverse, small businesses are attracted to Downtown Kennewick as a commercial district where they can afford to grow and prosper, creating a demand for a small business startup and accelerator support.
A specific location hasn’t been selected yet, however the partnership agreement requires Fuse to be strategically located in the downtown to support revitalization efforts and meet economic development criteria required by grant funding. “Taking the lessons Fuse learned from opening the first location in Richland, through to the relocation to our big, beautiful new space in the Parkway, we know it’s important to first build community before we build a physical location,” says Jess Stangeland, Fuse Manager. “I look forward to working with the city and HDKP to first understand the specific needs around entrepreneurship and community development in downtown Kennewick. From there we can curate all the great educational programing and events that Fuse currently does to fit the demands of that market.”
A grant awarded to the city from the Frontier Communications America’s Best Communities contest is helping kick start the accelerator. The remainder of the funding is from interest earnings from an economic development loan that was repaid in full in 2003. The intent of the grant funding is to expand and diversify local industry and create local living wage jobs.
“The grant is intended to underwrite the cost of recruiting businesses and marketing to attract entrepreneurs and young companies to a facility located in downtown Kennewick,” Estes-Cross said. The process to get the accelerator established could take up to two years. “The goal is to see at least 10 businesses and 18 new jobs created as a result of the accelerator.”
Fuse has a proven track record of providing these services in our region. It has the ability to effectively mentor and connect small businesses with capital investment and the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem. Fuse is a social purpose corporation, made up shareholders who are active members of the Tri-Cities business community.
About Fuse SPC
Fuse, located in the heart of the Parkway in Richland, is a hub for freelancers, small business, entrepreneurs, community development, and high-impact educational events. Fuse was founded on a belief that development of business and community go hand-in-hand. It is our mission to champion and support innovation, education, and collaboration. Fuse is a business & community accelerator run out of a symbiotic co-working space that facilitates growth for those individuals and companies in the startup phase. Since its foundation in 2014 over 105 companies have launched out of Fuse; we have sponsored and hosted over 500 events, meetups, and programs; and are home to 14 small businesses and 170 members. We encourage a mutually beneficial environment where you can be your most productive. Because Interaction cultivates innovation.
Contact: Jess Stangeland, Manager
Phone: (509) 572-3340