Shoals Business Incubator using donations from City of Florence to continue economic impact

STEM
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FLORENCE, Ala. — The City of Florence is using its tax dollars in a productive way. It’s allocating more than $150,000 to 16 organizations with goals to help others.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the city council approved $50,000 for the Shoals Business Incubator, the largest amount of the 16.

“We’re an incubator for startup companies,” SBI President Giles McDaniel said. “We house the companies here, we provide them with multiple resources to get them up and on their feet, and provide them with an affordable option to get started.”

Many of the businesses found in the SBI have a focus on stem-related work. Like Monzyk which is using its LXX prototype to remove harmful chemicals from water making it potable.

There’s also Green Acres Organic Pharms, an industrial hemp processor that focuses on extracting CBD oil.

McDaniel said the city has always been a key supporter. “We take the money that they contribute to our operations and we leverage that with other monies that we have and provide the resources that these companies need to give them their first step up into the business world,” he said.

One of the incubator’s most recent investments is a 3D printing lab complete with its own 3D scanner.

“I can’t imagine how far you might have to go from this location to be able to use one of these at this point,” Innovation MAD Co-Owner Justin Murphy said. “It’s a very new, emerging technology that can do just awesome, awesome stuff.”

McDaniel said funding is tight because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the incubator hasn’t seen as many startups, but because of the city’s continued support, it can maintain the same level of service.

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