Buchanan business incubator to open next month

Published 12:36 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

BUCHANAN — Buchanan’s first business incubator is on track to open in just a few weeks. 

Hometown and Co. Mercantile & Food Market, which is being run by Buchanan’s downtown development organization, LiveBuchanan, will host several food and retail businesses filling a big need in Buchanan’s downtown. 

LiveBuchanan Director Ashley Regal said the incubator will help grow small businesses and encourage them to stay in the area. 

“Starting in the incubator gives businesses a lot of advantages. One of the most significant is data. If a business has a proven sales record, it’s easier to make the tough decisions. You know what you can afford, lenders know what you can afford, and investors can see what you’re capable of.” 

Incubators, accelerators, and pop-ups are becoming more common around the country. At a time when starting a business often requires huge financial risk and the cost of everyday goods has steadily risen, business incubators can help level the playing field for opportunity without requiring immense start-up funds.   

LiveBuchanan has decided to focus on food and retail businesses in their incubator space. This, they say, is because of the community’s desire for these businesses downtown. 

“We have a lot of locals and visitors who want to spend more time downtown. We need to give them more reasons to visit, but more importantly, more reasons to stay,” Regal said.  

The incubator will have a market experience with vendors offering hot meals, grocer and farm goods, and retail items. Confirmed vendors include Taqueria Don Chepe, McBain Lane’s Mercantile, Diana’s Kitchen, and Goddess of the Moon Leatherworks.  

The incubator is made possible through a partnership with Honor Credit Union. Honor has a history of community involvement, regularly donating to organizations and participating in community events. This partnership is more than financial support. It also includes classes provided by Honor to the incubator participants. Classes are tailored to the unique needs of entrepreneurs including topics like “How to be Loan Ready,” or “Financial Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs.”  

“This is exactly the type of project we are excited to get involved with,” said HCU Community Development Officer Karol Behrle. “We can’t wait to see the impact this will have on our community for years to come.” 

The Hometown & Co. Mercantile & Food Market is set to open in mid-October and will run their first cohort of businesses as a Holiday Market through February. A new cohort will join the incubator each year. To learn more visit livebuchanan.com/business-incubator.