Carnation awarded funds for business incubator feasibility study

City hopes Snoqualmie Valley Business Incubator supports and retains entrepreneurs in the region

The city of Carnation has received funds to determine the feasibility of opening a Snoqualmie Valley Small Business Incubator, a state board announced Thursday, Jan. 19.

Hoping to capture and support the region’s entrepreneurial spirit, funding allows the city to find partners, engage with stakeholders and look for a location in the city, said Carnation spokesperson Ashlyn Farnworth.

“The Snoqualmie Valley is home to a significant creative community that finds inspiration in the Valley’s farming and natural environment,” she wrote in an email. “However, if this community is not supported and incorporated in the economic fabric, it will go elsewhere or decline.”

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business incubator is a collaborative program for startup companies that is designed to help new businesses succeed by providing work space, mentoring, funding and training.

Farnworth said the city will begin an assessment of the incubator this spring and examine potential sites in the fall. A final report and plan would be brought to the city council and CERB early next year, she said.

The incubator would house between five to 20 entrepreneurs, and, if successful, would graduate new businesses who operate across the Valley to support job growth and create an environment where residents feel comfortable to explore new ideas, Farnworth said.

The project’s feasibility study is being funded through a $50,000 grant from the the Washington Economic Revitalization Board (CERB). The board works under the state Department of Commerce and aims to spur business growth and job creation throughout the state.

“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality,” board chair Michael Echanove said in a statement Thursday announcing the grant winners.