Local business support groups in Minot announced their plans to assist new and growing business owners.

But an increase in business could also mean an increase in the demand for commercial space.

Start Up Minot was created by a coalition of local business support organizations. The purpose is to help with new business ideas, new business owners or those looking to grow.

“The approach to this is to take it on the community’s side,” said Mary Beth Votava, the Minot regional director of the Small Business Development Centers. “And the mentorship and the fellowship is something that is extremely important for any business owner to have. Someone or a group of people that you can bounce ideas off of.”

The Start Up Academy will host three, hands-on, 10-week long classes where business owners will learn from guest speakers and field experts.

Classes are offered for $100 a person for the first year. The organization says similar courses would typically cost more than $700.

Realtor Tim Knutson says he thinks the Start Up Academy is a good idea and that it will eventually benefit realtors.

“I think a business incubator of sorts would be awesome because it’s gonna help people to get their feet wet and start trying out something, their idea, their dream and if it starts to take ground, then they’re gonna be starting to look for something more permanent,” said Knutson. “Permanent location is gonna benefit them in the long run so I think as realtors that’s gonna definitely help us.”

Knutson says he’s been seeing an increase in demand for commercial properties and has been getting calls looking for properties that can become a restaurant, a radio station or even a small store.

“Feels like there has been an increase in need over the last few years actually, of people looking to wanna start their own business looking to lease space,” said Knutson. “Typically the first step is they’re wanting to a lease a space before they buy.”

In addition to the Academy, Start Up Minot will be hosting free monthly business networking events that are open to the public.

The first 10-week course begins on Jan. 13, 2022.