SARANAC LAKE - Business owners in the Adirondacks now have a new place to go for support.
The Adirondack Business Center, located at 141 River St., hosted an open house event Oct. 30, to mark its grand opening as the newest resource for North Country entrepreneurs.
The facility is a joint project of Clarkson University's Center for Entrepreneurship and the Adirondack Initiative for Wired Work, which is also hosted by Clarkson.
"The goal of the center is to really become the model for rural economic development," said Erin Draper, associate director of the Entrepreneurship Center.
According to Draper, Clarkson chose the the Saranac Lake site because it represented an area close by where there was a great need for support among small businesses.
The Entrepreneurship Center at Clarkson has offered business-oriented classes and other educational resources for more than 430 local businesspeople since 2004. The facility boasts an 85-percent success rate among businesses it's worked with; a figure that's twice the national average.
"We've extended that to Saranac Lake to try to replicate that success," Draper said.
Opening the Adirondack Business Center means those same classes can now be offered at the Saranac Lake location. The first series, "My Small Business 101," began there Oct. 19.
Other classes touch on specific topics such as financial management, marketing, and resource management.
"Then we'll offer one-on-one support to businesses who have been through the training," said Draper.
In addition to the classes, the Adirondack Business Center will offer its facilities for use by business owners, vacationers and community groups looking to learn, work, and build stronger businesses. Two private offices, a professional conference room, a 24-seat classroom and three computer work stations are all available for rent by the hour.
Draper said telecommuters will be able to extend their visits to the region by having the facility available to access the Internet and e-mail for work purposes on a broadband connection.
Full-time director Mary Gach will be on hand at the newly-opened building as well as two part-time administrative coordinators.
Keith Wells, president of the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce, said the Adirondack Business Center fulfills a goal set by the chamber to create a microenterprise program that supports entrepreneurs in downtown Saranac Lake.
"As this center grows, we see its influence, in partnership with the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce, community business leaders, and our newly formed Ambassador Team, as instrumental in attracting new business ventures to our area," said Wells.
For more information about the Adirondack Business Center, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 354-8410.