WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Every business has to start somewhere. For Joe Boylan, the start for his business was the incubator set up by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.

“The beauty of an incubator is, it offers lower lease rates to allow business to have enough capital to grow initial phase of what they’re trying to do,” said Boylan.

From there, grew Wilkes-Barre Connect. “It’s almost like the modern day garage. We’re allowing business to be creative and spun out of here.”

The chamber program hopes to nurture local businesses now, so the community can see the benefits of a sustainable local economy later.

“We ensure that all startups, students, existing businesses have access to the resources, providers, and the facilities they need to grow in northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Boylan.

Several businesses have already come and gone from the think center, outgrowing the space as they become too large.
“Starting here, working your way up through the building, and up to the third flood, just like Pepperjam did.”

Pepperjam is one of the program’s greatest success stories.
“They started with four people here on the second floor back in 2004 when the space opened, and now can operate on the entire third floor, they have multiple locations across the U.S. still headquartered right here in Wilkes-Barre. “

Because of the chamber’s creative effort to lift up local businesses, like Pepperjam, it’s been recognized country-wide by big names, including the US Postal Service, which has asked the chamber for some help with its own creative model.
For Boylan, it’s all about having the vision necessary to make the most of what you have.

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