Renovations on Winston-Salem business incubator

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- For the past 10 years, April Witherspoon has taught basic life skills to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities such physical handicaps, autism, and Down syndrome.

She owns Zoe Behavior Health Services.

It’s a business she used to run out of her house but now uses an office at The Enterprise Center on South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Witherspoon is one of about thirty entrepreneurs who run a business out of the center.

She says finding a space can be the hardest part of operating a business.

"Not only do you need the building, you’ve got to have all the utilities,” Witherspoon said. “You’ve got to have the software for your business. You’ve got to have the internet. You’ve got to have phone service."

Services Carol Davis, the executive director of The Simon Green Atkins Community Development Corporation, says are included in the monthly fee to rent space.

Using grant money, the nonprofit turned the building, which used to be a Boys and Girls Club, into a business incubator.

During the fall, the nonprofit finished its third phase of renovations.

The center houses 47 offices for small businesses and hosts training classes and seminars twice a month.

"People who might not traditionally be in the mainstream, they may not know exactly how to go about getting opportunities to go grow their business, we help them get that information," Davis said.

Business owners like Witherspoon say not only has the center created an opportunity for her but for others in east and southeast Winston-Salem.

"A lot of my staff and their families live in this community," Witherspoon said.

The nonprofit also partners with Winston-Salem State University and Forsyth Tech to put on many of its seminars and workshops.