Looking to grow your small business? Check out this support hub in Concord

CONCORD, N.C. — A hub to support small businesses is now up and running in Concord.

The Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship just opened in the old Cabarrus Bank on Union Street.

Aarthi Parthasarthy loves to make handpies, so she made a business out of it -- called Magpies.

With the pies down pat, she’s ready to focus on sales and with the help she’s found at the center, Parthasarthy says she feels confident growing her small business.

“I’ve met so many different people and I feel like just getting involved more in the community has been really good,” Parthasarthy said.

At more than 20,000 square feet, the Cabarrus Center was created to be a one-stop shop for small businesses.

Anyone with an idea can walk in and instantly have access to office space for lease, mentorship, classes and even opportunities for capital.

Page Castrodale’s is one of the minds behind the center. Her organization is one of several already housed there.

She said the center is trying to build a community -- something so many didn’t have during the pandemic.

“If you’re starting a business and you’re trying to get that off the ground you need to be with folks who know what that process is like so that’s the kind of community we’re trying to build here,” Castrodale said.

According to Castrodale, a hub for entrepreneurs has always been needed in the county and the pandemic presented the perfect time.

“We found over half of fortune 500 companies were founded during a recession,” she said. “We knew we wanted to have framework in place to support folks in our communities who wanted to start something new because they’ve been displaced or lost their jobs.”

Jeremy Ford told Channel 9 he took a risk and left a 20-year engineering career to start a payroll business but he says thanks to the Cabarrus Center, he’s not doing it alone.

“Working with people to understand the pitfalls of this is the first thing you should do,” he said. “It’s been really encouraging to be in those classes.”