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Youngstown Wants to Repurpose Shipping Containers For Small Business Storefronts

photo of shipping container
Shipping containers like this one could be repurposed for entrepeneuers, which Youngstown City Councilman Julius Oliver says is much cheaper than going into a traditional building.

The City of Youngstown could soon add a business incubator on its south side, made up entirely of shipping containers.

The project would convert the containers into small store fronts for entrepreneurs who may not be able to get financing to start a business, or who don’t have enough start-up capital to invest in a traditional building.

The city is studying the cost of the project as well as how to connect the containers to utilities.

Youngstown City Councilman Julius Oliver says the plan has worked in several other cities, and that the project would hopefully bring in businesses that are needed in the area.

“So far, we’ve had people approach us with fruit and vegetable stands, which is awesome, because often in that community there’s an elderly population. We don’t need them to have to travel and catch the bus and go too far to get what they need.”

“The idea is actually to keep that business there for a certain amount of time: monitor it [and] mentor it until it ... outgrows the trailer and then move them into an actual store front.”

Oliver adds that other Youngstown officials are also supportive of the project, which could break ground as soon as next month.