A research firm has recommended establishment of a government-supported small-business "incubator" in Price with staff in Moab and Blanding to service new commercial enterprise.

Development of a small-business incubator - a facility designed to "hatch" new businesses by providing support services and other assistance as the business gets going - is among recommendations in a preliminary report by Salt Lake City-based Bonneville Research.The recommendations, based on a small-business incubator feasibility study, were presented this month at a meeting in Green River. A final report is due Oct. 31, said Dixie Barksdale, economic development specialist for the Southeast Utah Association of Local Governments.

The local government association commissioned the feasibility study as the first step in a larger, federally funded strategy program for economic recovery in Grand, San Juan, Carbon and Emery counties. A network of volunteer work groups in the four counties contributed to the study through a regional committee over the past three months.

Findings in the study were also based on surveys of more than 150 major industrial, retail, service and commercial businesses in southeastern Utah. According to the study, respondents and key community leaders who were interviewed feel strongly that small-business growth is important to the economic future of the area.

"Unpopular industrial developments, such as waste treatment and disposal facilities, were seen as appropriate for 'non-scenic' areas," the study said. Respondents said the most important goals in any economic development plan should be to stimulate existing business expansion and create new primary jobs to reduce unemployment.

Retail and clothing stores, commercial and professional services, and manufacturing-light industry were listed as the most attractive and needed types of businesses. Bonneville Research recommended establishing an initial business incubator at the College of Eastern Utah in conjunction with a Small Business Development Center in Price.

The firm also recommended:

- Locating one full-time person in Price (for Carbon and Emery counties) and one part-time person each in Grand and San Juan counties to provide government-funded small-business support services and consultation in other business-related areas.

- Establishing a revolving loan fund with up to $10,000 in working capital for small, early-stage manufacturing and related companies to draw from.