The Committee for Economic Development in Orem is hoping to do a little developing of its own.

The committee wants a new building where it can start an incubator."An incubator for businesses is a lot like an incubator for chicks," DeLance Squire,the committee's executive director, said. "There are a lot of businesses working from garages and basements. They can't grow because they don't have money for good phone systems, copy machines and that sort of thing.

"CEDO would like to get a building and set it up so small businesses could rent and share central services. The rent would help fund CEDO, taking some of the burden off Orem. And more small businesses would get a chance at growth."

Orem has fewer places for new businesses to locate than it did last year, and rents are cheaper in Provo, Squire said.

"Businesses can rent an office in an old building for a third or half the amount for a new building. And Provo has a lot of old buildings.

"But most new businesses really prefer a new space. Our incubator would provide that."

Squire said the new building would probably cost about $1.6 million for 40,000 square feet of space. It could be financed in a number of ways, including a low-cost Small Business Administration 504 loan.

He said he thought the incubator would mostly attract small computer software companies. The best location for the venture would be in a research park, he said.

Squire said he did not expect the building to be approved overnight.

"At this point we are just planting the idea in people's heads. We would not want to go too far with the project until we tied down some costs and had renters lined up for the space."

Squire also requested Orem increase the committee's annual budget from $125,000 to $160,000 so a new staff member could be added.