Isle retail incubator gets $1M grant boost
The center is slated to open in December or early next year
A nonprofit group's plans for a Chinatown retail incubator have gotten a $1 million boost in the form of a grant from the Weinberg Foundation.
The Pacific Gateway Center, a group dedicated to supporting immigrants, refugees and low-income residents, is planning to build the center at 83 N. King St. in Chinatown.
The retail incubator, to be called the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Paradise Enterprise Center, will be patterned on the group's existing culinary business incubator in Kalihi.
Technical assistance and business support services will be available for small crafters and cultural artisans at the center, which will also offer training seminars, retail space and a ground-floor cafe. "I'm looking at what I call cultural creations," said Pacific Gateway executive director Dr. Tin Myaing Thein. "Mostly artwork that comes from different cultures --handicrafts."
Thein said the new retail incubator should go hand in hand with the emerging Chinatown arts district, and that the group is aligning its program plans and strategies with it.
The center is shooting for an opening date of December or early next year.
Founded in 1973, Pacific Gateway's goal is to alleviate poverty through economic development, micro-enterprise and asset accumulation strategies.
Pacific Gateway purchased the three-story Chinatown space in 2003, and has been working on renovations in order to get the retail incubator up and running.