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Business launchpad coming to downtown Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Business launchpad coming to downtown Joplin

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People come to Callie Hudson with the Downtown Joplin Alliance with business ideas, products and services all the time. She can now give them a space in downtown Joplin with a multitude of resources they'll need for start up; including support, graphics, and PR.

"We want to alleviate that hurdle for people that are trying to get started," Hudson said.

Hudson keeps a running list of businesses that reach out to her. Now she will reference it and group them by similar elements to put it one space for a short time where they can share resources at 515 S. Main in Joplin. 

"At Cooper's for example, is one of the few spaces downtown that has a kitchen, so all of those needs that require a kitchen, I'll go through my list and find those people and start to talk to them about what that shared space would look like," Hudson said.

Downtown Joplin has a 20 percent vacancy rate, which is quite the jump from when it was at 70 percent a few years ago. Lori Haun and her husband own several of those vacant spaces.

"As a property owner, I think it would be valuable to start filling in some of the spaces that are available downtown. There's some great locations downtown that could really be maximized and there's a lot of people downtown now too looking for fun stuff to do and different things to buy," Haun said.

Groups will be allowed to utilize this central business hub for 6-18 months. The hub will include a dark room, office space and other things needed for groups to begin their entrepreneurial journey.

"If your business isn't what you thought it would be, if it didn't take off like you hoped, at least you're not leaving that business idea with a rain cloud of debt over your head," Hudson said.

Hudson said the groups currently using the space and readying for new groups affectionately call it "Midwestern Collective".

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