Vista Park offers a nest for fledgling businesses to grow

Port 2 is seeking tenants for a new business incubator


December 14, 2023

Bill Fashing, left, and Monica Seidl, right, of Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments, check out one of four business incubator cubicles at the Appelo Annex. The business incubators were the brainchild of Wahkiakum County Port 2 Manager Sam Shogren, center. Photo by Diana Zimmerman.

If you are giving thought to starting a new business and would like a dedicated space to work, as well as access to expert advice, you might check out the new business incubator space at the Appelo Annex at Vista Park in Skamokawa, developed by Wahkiakum County Port 2 and their Manager Sam Shogren.

"We have the four cubicles that are set up as rentals," Shogren said. "The idea is the price point would vary depending on where you are in growing your business."

Rates for the dedicated office space include a desk, chair, locking cabinet, and cubicle, and can even include a computer if needed, as well as access to fast internet, a laser printer, a conference room, and coffee and tea.

The current introductory rate for the first month is $50, but as business revenues grow, so would the rate, until such time the new business gets big enough to move into another space altogether.

"We are actively looking for tenants," Shogren said. "We're hoping to get people in here who are interested in starting businesses and growing businesses.

What kind of businesses? Anything anyone can dream up.

Prior to joining the port, Shogren said he hosted monthly workshops for entrepreneurs in Portland through the Freelancers Union, where they talked about marketing, price points, taxes, and many other aspects and concerns of running a business.

He is continuing to seek out other resources that will assist local people who want to get businesses going.

There is another rate for people who want to drop in to work and are open to sharing a coworking space.

"We had a couple in here this summer visiting Vista Park," Shogren said. "They were from Detroit, and both had to work their jobs. They sat at a folding table here each day working, and camped the rest of the time."

Another local student used the space to finish his online drivers education.

With free wifi in the building, it is also an easy access point for people living in underserved areas in nearby valleys, Shogren said.

One day, they may even be able to offer private space for telehealth visits.

The business incubators were also made possible with the help of some partners, which include Steve Carson of Computer Link Northwest and his grant funded Digital Navigator program.

For more information, or to learn about rates contact Port 2 at Vista Park at 360-795-8605.


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