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New small businesses to benefit from WTAMU Enterprise Center expansion

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Amarillo, TX - New area small businesses could benefit from a grant being considered by the city commission.

Tuesday city commissioners considered the approval of a $500 thousand grant for the West Texas A&M University Enterprise Center Expansion. It's hoped the $8 million expansion will bring more business to Amarillo.

Incubation is what the WT Enterprise Center does. But no, not for chickens... businesses.

"We start with a fertile egg, which is a viable potentially profitable idea. As that egg hatches into a baby chick just like a business the incubator protects it in the protection environment of the incubator," David Terry, WTAMU Enterprise Center executive director says.

City commissioners say they have some questions before approving a grant to fund their expansion.

"I want to hear what the executive director of the Economic Development Center has to say about how many people they've served, how many businesses they have tried to nurture along, because they are trying to raise $8 million for the Enterprise Center. I wanna see where the money is going to go because at the end of the day city commissioners have a responsibility to the voters and the public to be sure the money is being spent responsibly, and that's what we're going to want to ensure as we hear this story today," Brian Eades, City Commissioner Place II says. 

Forty six local companies have gotten their start and graduated from the center. Many of those have gone on to be very successful.

One of those still in the program is Interactive 360.

"I can't really put a value on it because it's a huge value. But, we really see a potential for a very large company to come out of this. We already grown from four employees to 20 employees in six months time," Rick McLey, Interactive 360 Chief Executive Officer says.

Terry says through their expansion ten more business a year can be added to their program.

The expansion is still in the beginning phases and funding is still being raised. They hope to be complete within the next two to three years.

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