A business hub to create a nurturing ecosystem for local entrepreneurs and remote workers in Lisbon will be ready by this Fall.

Ancient York Lodge where the Moxie Hub will come up this Fall. Brett Richardson

The town and Ancient York Lodge 155 signed a memorandum of understanding last week to develop the local entrepreneurship hub and business incubator in the town.

The town officials have been working for a few months now to create this hub after receiving a $60,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation and Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center last year.

Dubbed Moxie Hub, the workspace will be located on the lodge’s first floor, said Brett Richardson, Lisbon Economic and Community Development director.

According to Richardson, the hub will serve as an inexpensive platform to start a business for early-stage entrepreneurs.

“It is not easy to find a good location right now in Lisbon to start a business, and it is typically not affordable for new business owners,” said Richardson. “Considering most of them are startup’s it is always risky to leap into own buildings. This hub will give folks an inexpensive platform to test their products and an opportunity to learn from others through networking.”

The hub will include an community gathering space, sitting rooms and a commercial kitchen that can support a café for use by caterers.

Richardson said they would strategically use the 23,000 square feet floor space to meet the different needs of the local entrepreneurs. “The building was originally a hotel, so it has fairly sizable floors,” he said.

While the large community area will be used for pop-up markets or some short-term retail opportunities, officials plan to use smaller rooms for co-working or makers space.

However, Richardson added that the hub’s development would take place in phases, and they are currently reaching out to local entrepreneurs and remote workers to get an idea of how they want to use the space.

“We will create a beautiful space,” said Richardson. “At present, we are working on the design phase for the hub. We are planning to do the community area first. We will do the front rooms for the makers space and co-working next, and finally, we will do the commercial kitchen; this might take a little longer.”

For Jeff Lauzier, an owner of a T-shirt company, the hub will serve as a commonplace to collaborate and share ideas with others.

“It’s a great platform to showcase products. It’s nice to have a spot where I can showcase and sell the t-shirts,” said Lauzier. “Moreover, if there is an office component to it, I would like to spend a day or two in a week working on my projects there.”

Reilly Kons, who works at the rural institute in Portland said:, “It is good to see an entrepreneurial activity come up in Lisbon. My family is from Lisbon falls. It’s a small town, and I don’t think people give much importance to entrepreneurship there, but I think this hub will help change people’s perspectives. I hope this initiative will help inspire the younger generation to be independent thinkers.”

This fall, a free digital advertising boot camp for entrepreneurs in Lisbon and the broader region will take place at the hub in partnership with Dream Local Digital of Rockland, Maine, said Richardson.


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