Surprise businesses take risks for success

SURPRISE, AZ - It's a retail market where the crowds may not be busting down the doors this busy shopping weekend, but it is one where new businesses in the Valley are forming and growing.

The Barnaby Street Shoppes in Surprise near 113th Avenue and Bell Road is a retail space that houses nine businesses in what is called a "retail incubator." It opened a little over two years ago.

"It is challenging to start a business, but it is also possible," said Elle Huber who just opened her booth "Gift of Cheese" at the location a month ago.  

The incubator helps the businesses launch because it cuts down on some of the overhead costs they would incur if they had to rent their own space alone. They share the space, the utilities and even partner for advertising.

"It has allowed me to take risks that I wouldn't have been able to take otherwise," said Tammy Fraser who owns "Gifts to Go." She has been at the location since Barnaby Street Shoppes opened.

The incubator concept is not unique. They are often funded at least in part by government agencies, non-profits or universities with the concept that local business growth fuels local jobs and the economy.

ASU's Skysong is a prime example.

The Barnaby Street Shoppes is a private venture without outside funding.

The goal is for the businesses to grow enough to be able to move out on their own.

Next week, starting Friday, the businesses are holding a three day event called the "Second Annual Shopping & Sharing at Barnaby Street."

The event promotes the incubator to other potential tenants and welcomes other small businesses to promote their products and services.

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