A Joplin business incubator is one of seven in the state recently approved for a total of $500,000 in tax credits, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has announced.

The Joseph Newman Innovation Center, 407 S. Pennsylvania Ave., was approved for $65,074.

Toby Teeter, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, said the next step is to seek private contributors, such as Missouri taxpaying companies or individuals, who will receive $1 of Missouri tax credit for every $2 contribution to the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is the not-for-profit that owns and operates the center. That means the donor also gets a federal tax deduction as well as a Missouri tax credit, he said.

According to Teeter, the Joseph Newman Innovation Center is now being remodeled to better serve Joplin-area entrepreneurs.

"We are converting a portion of the building to co-working 'shared' space that comes with a desk, chair, free WiFi, and shared conference rooms, kitchen and bathrooms," Teeter said in an email. "Participating entrepreneurs will be able to participate in mentorships and programs such as monthly e-commerce meetups, the new Joplin 1 Million Cups speaker series and upcoming Ed Talks covering topics like Amazon Seller Central, Facebook advertising and omni-channel sales and distribution."

Teeter said the Joplin chamber, the Small Business and Technology Development Center at Missouri Southern State University and the Downtown Joplin Alliance are working together to form and service a Joplin Regional Innovation Hub.

"This represents a structural improvement to Joplin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through collaborations, combining capacities and programs to promote and provide workspaces, educational programs, pitch competitions, mentorships, and networking opportunities where technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive," Teeter wrote.

The Missouri department reported that the tax credits each year help generate private funds for the incubators, which foster businesses in their earliest stages. Incubators may use the contributions for working capital and other nonoperating expenditures that support new business creation.

“Building a strong network for startups and small businesses is essential to economic development," Director Rob Dixon said in a statement. “We’re proud to support so many incubators through this program and appreciate all the work they do to drive entrepreneurship in Missouri.”

He also said there are 23 certified business incubators in Missouri.

Other incubators approved for credits in 2019 were:

• The eFactory in Springfield for $100,000.

• Center for Emerging Technologies in St. Louis for $95,000.

• MU Life Science Business Incubator in Columbia for $85,162.

• Ozarks Small Business Incubator in West Plains for $55,264.

• St. Louis Fashion Fund in St. Louis for $50,000.

• IT Entrepreneur Network in St. Louis for $49,500.

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor at the Globe. His email address is aostmeyer@joplinglobe.com.

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor at the Globe. His email address is aostmeyer@joplinglobe.com.

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