New business comes to downtown Johnson City

From Staff Reports • Jul 3, 2018 at 10:00 PM

A new kitchen, bath and closet retail company is the latest business to make downtown Johnson City its home. Officials with the Johnson City Development Authority said Tuesday they have chosen UpSpacing, which designs spaces and sells cabinets and closet systems directly to customers, to occupy the startup space at 325½ E. Main St.

The company was chosen from several applicants to lease the city-owned incubator space at a reduced rate. The deal is part of the JCDA’s Downtown Strong Startup Space Program, which provides an opportunity for new businesses to gain experience and professional advice from Johnson City officials, the Tennessee Economic & Community Development Council and the leadership of the Economic Vitality Committee.

A portion of the startup space program is funded by a LiftTN grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. This grant supplies education, resources and tools to underserved and underrepresented micro-enterprises located in Tennessee.

Dianna Cantler, downtown liaison for Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Development Partnership, said the JCDA thinks the space is ideal for a small business looking to get a good start. She said UpSpacing will use the space as a showroom and retail center for its products. This will allow clients to meet with company officials to view their custom designs.

Cantler said clients will also have access to 3-D goggles to see their new cabinet, kitchen and bathroom spaces.

Angel Hicks, owner of UpSpacing, said in a news release the startup space program had given her company an unique opportunity to succeed.

“Having an affordable space for lease is important for any business to succeed, but it’s especially essential for startup companies like UpSpacing,” she said.

Hicks said the downtown Johnson City location is perfect for her business.

“Current business owners have already begun welcoming us,” she said. “I feel as if I’m joining a community rather than just starting a business.”

The company is expected to be settled in its startup space by early August.

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