“The Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs (SPICE) offers many programs/classes for potential new business owners and those who have been in business for years.
Organized in 2000, and funded through a grant from Kellogg’s, to utilize local assets to help build homegrown businesses. “SPICE helps local businesses and let them know that they have some place to turn to,” said SPICE Executive Director Heather Sowers during a recent meeting of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce.
“Most people give up on their dream of owning their own business because they can’t get credit. We try to work with them and make their dreams work out,” Sowers said.
SPICE offers a guiding hand to mom and pop businesses through the loan application phase and also assists through workshops and other business training and financial management ideas.
“It’s a lot of work,” Sowers says. “But, if people are dedicated enough, we have had people find success through the program.”
SPICE is located in Southern Perry County and services all of Perry County, to be eligible for a SPICE loan; the applicant must meet LMI (low to moderate income) guidelines. The non-profit organization offers classroom instruction that takes participants through the steps of starting a business and also offers low interest loans for start up businesses or for the expansion of an existing business.
“Perry County is remote, but we have a lot of assets here. SPICE helps local businesses, which is good for the betterment of Perry County. We know there are some good people with no place to turn too. We focus on LMI because that’s the bulk of the people that we want to assist.”