CNJ staff photo: Helena Rodriguez Sara McClain, front, and Stephanie Jamison answer telephones for American Medical Alert.
By Helena Rodriguez: CNJ staff writer
The new Business Enterprise Center is now open for business at 105 E. Grand Ave.
Located inside of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce and Clovis Industrial Development Corp. building, the center houses a welcome center, Chamber and CIDC offices, a new retail store, 24-hour visitors’ center and a business incubator on the second floor in which incoming businesses can set up temporary residency while they search for a permanent location.
The Business Enterprise Center will also house a future Norman & Vi Petty and Curry County Historical Museum in the basement area.
American Medical Alert is the current tenant at the Business Enterprise Center. The New York-based telephone answering service began training 10 telephone operators on site this past week and already has plans to hire an additional crew before moving to a permanent facility in about three months.
According to CIDC executive director Chase Gentry, American Medical Alert plans to hire 150 people over three years. The Business Enterprise Center allows the company to begin business operations before they find a permanent home.
“American Medical Alert wanted to come to Clovis but there was no building that was ready for them to use, so we let them use our space,” Gentry said. “This created 10 immediate jobs, and since it is going well, they plan to hire another round of people.”
Gentry said American Medical Alert is paying CIDC and the Chamber a nominal fee to cover utilities and other expenses. Southwest Cheese and a film production company have also utilized space at the Business Enterprise Center.
Gentry said they also have plans to offer space to a new bio-diesel plant which is under construction and possibly to another bio-diesel plant which wants to come into Clovis. Gentry said future goals are to have similar facilities at the industrial park to serve as temporary residencies for manufacturers seeking a permanent residence in Clovis.
“Our ultimate goal is to create good paying jobs in Clovis,” Gentry said.
According to Kos, visitors and tourists are already taking advantage of the 24-hour visitors’ center which is located in the new vestibule area. Tourists can get information even when the offices are closed, because the front entrance will remain open. The center features informational brochures and handouts on local attractions, facilities and services, as well as real estate guides. The new retail store, which sells Clovis merchandise, is located in the front lobby area.
“I think our community can be proud that we have a professional place to showcase Clovis to prospective businesses and tourists,” Kos said.
In addition, the Chamber has a dairy exhibit on display in the adjacent Wells Fargo bank that leases space from the Chamber and CIDC.
The exhibit is on loan from the Southwest Dairy Museum of Sulphur, Texas.
An official grand opening for the Business Enterprise Center will be announced at a later date.