Growth at incubator continues

Published 9:35 am Thursday, September 16, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - Growth at the Edward Lowe Business Development Center in Cassopolis has been astounding in its four year history - from three to 17 tenants, related its director, Bob Green, to those attending the annual lunch and open house Thursday.
The event gives members of the community an opportunity to tour the facility, of which only 7,000 square feet remain unrented, out of the 33,000 available.
From cabinets and countertops to custom software for major corporations, start-up business owners are finding the incubator a perfect place to run their business. Other businesses, such as The Home Group and even the Village of Cassopolis, are using the building for additional storage space.
Some residents of the facility also have shops, such as Marcia Gregg, of Lucy and Ethels.
Green praised Patty Dresser, a recent "graduate" who has moved on to her own shop "Bittersweet on Broadway." Along with her own quaint clay cottages and houses, she offers the opportunity for 30 area artists to sell their wares.
The American Red Cross has had an office since the center's opening, Green added.
Sandy Gower, Dowagiac Economic Development director, introduced the speaker, Viki Gudas, director of Business Services for Michigan Works!, Gudas spoke about changes happening with its program which could affect those seeking jobs and local businesses who are seeking employees.
Businesses continue to look for "quality people," she added, along with "independent thinkers and motivated performers."
Their programs also hope to show potential employees how to contribute to the success of a company.
Mentioning the new Lowes coming to Niles, she added they have received 500 applicants for the jobs which will be available soon. "There are lots of people looking for work," she said.
The goals of Michigan Works! is to help employers find qualified employees, and help workers find jobs. The business services division looks at the employers' needs, to make sure they are being met.