What is a business incubator?
A business incubator assists new and developing entrepreneurial companies by providing a nurturing early-stage environment, with flexible leases at affordable rates, plus business services such as fax/copying, conference areas, clerical support, management/technical support.

Where is the Pioneer Center?
The Pioneer Center is located in the Duffield Industrial Park in Duffield, Virginia.  For directions to our location, click here.

Who operates the Pioneer Center:
The Pioneer Center is a non-profit entity.  The direction for the organization is set by the Mountain Empire Regional Business Incubator (MERBI) Board of Directors.  The Center employs full-time professionals to carry out the day to day tasks.  Additional operational support is provided by Mountain Empire Community College and LENOWISCO Planning District Commission.

Who is eligible to become a tenant?
The Pioneer Center offers approximately 46,000 square feet of business office and light manufacturing space.  However, the space is not conducive to all business types.  For example, the Pioneer Center does not lease to retail businesses.  Some examples of eligible tenants are assembly, light manufacturing, wholesale distribution, research and development, service firms, and professional services.

How expensive are lease rates?
Lease rates are based upon the size and nature of the space requested.  Lease arrangements in an incubator setting are more flexible than in a traditional business lease arrangement.  Call 276-431-7226 for rate information.

Who do I contact to tour the facility?
Contact Tim Blankenbecler, Interim Director, 276-431-7227 or 276-431-7226, to arrange a tour of the Pioneer Center.

How can a business incubator help me?
According to the Small Business Administration, small  businesses constitute more than 90 percent of all businesses in the U. S., and create more than 80 percent of new jobs.  Yet, despite these impressive statistics, as many as 80 percent of all new small businesses fail within their first five years of operation.  A business incubator can help by providing support in a multitude of areas, including marketing, technical support, clerical and much more.  Additionally, the incubator provides low cost training on many relevant topics such as tax planning, financial management, advertising and software training, etc.

If you have other questions, please contact us at the number below.