Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 | 11:50 p.m.
Henderson Business Resource Center
When the Henderson Business Resource Center opened in 2001, the business incubator found itself in a sparsely populated office and held meetings around plastic tables.
Ten years later, the center is thriving. Its office is full, with 12 new businesses leasing space.
Its walls are covered with fresh paint. There’s new carpet and furniture, and high-speed Internet and high-tech phones give the building all the amenities of a modern office.
The center, a program of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, celebrated its 10th anniversary Thursday with a gathering city officials, local businesspeople and the owners of successful businesses it has helped launched.
“The crowd today is a lot bigger than the crowd 10 years ago,” said Larry Seedig, president of USAA Savings Bank and a long-time supporter of the center.
The HBRC offers aid to local start-up businesses, primarily through offering affordable, fully furnished office space on short-term leases, director Rebecca Fay said. The non-profit center houses all its tenants in a central location, allowing them to network, partner and learn from each other as they grow, she said.
“We let them stay here until they feel they’ve grown enough where they need to go to a bigger space,” she said.
The center also offers business counseling through a partnership with SCORE and holds seminars to help entrepreneurs learn the ins and outs of things like finances, marketing and human resources. The programs are open to all businesses, not just those that lease space.
“It’s hard starting your own business. You’re married to it. It’s 24/7,” Fay said. “Hopefully with the help of the Henderson Business Resource Center, they have a better chance of making it.”
Over the years, the center has helped launch about 10 full-fledged businesses and provided counseling services to hundreds of people. Among its success stories are Nevada State High School, Imagine Communications, and K2 Energy, a battery manufacturer that was recently named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States.
The HBRC is housed in the Wells Fargo Bank building in downtown Henderson, 112 Water Street. The space is leased to the center for $1.
Wells Fargo Bank Regional President Kirk Clausen said the company provides the offices as a way of reinvesting in small businesses.
“Anything we can do to help the small business community succeed financially or otherwise helps the overall economy,” said Clausen, the former chamber board of directors chairman. “Small business added up hire a lot of people. They’re very important.”
One of the incubator’s newest tenants is the Web design and online marketing firm 13 Pages. Founder High Mobley said he started the company out of his home but decided to find office space after the birth of his son.
He originally had a space elsewhere on Water Street but moved into the HBRC because it gave him more room and a more professional atmosphere to work in.
He said the added benefits of being near business counseling services and other entrepreneurs was also a draw.
“You never know who knows somebody,” Mobley said. “You can find people to collaborate with here.”