Another Washington County organization is reaching out to provide space for small businesses and startups.
The Southpointe Chamber of Commerce is the latest to do so, unveiling the Southpointe Chamber Business Centre with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday night at Cecil Township’s multipurpose park.
“This is for people who are starting a small business or wanting to move into an affordable space,” said Don Hodor, the chamber’s founder and executive president. The center, located at 125 Technology Drive, one Bailey Center, is a park One of the original buildings inside.
Hodor said he and Rich Barcelona, owner of the Bailey Center building, were working on plans for the business ahead of the pandemic in March 2020. The project needed to provide affordable high-tech offices while supporting start-ups and small entrepreneurs.
“With the pandemic hopefully over, we feel we can do this in an affordable way,” Hodor said.
“This can be a bridge for a company. You can buy an office in Southpointe for $1,500 (monthly), or come here for $500 to $600 and get the amenities you want,” Hodor said, adding that amenities include Office locks, mailboxes, phones, copiers and WiFi.
“We set up 15 businesses, but could retrofit and expand to 25 on the lower level. Because not all offices have windows, we installed color cameras on the golf course and the lakeside (opposite the Bailey Center), so You can still see outside.”
Southpointe Chamber will operate the new business center, which according to Hodor is privately funded by Bailey Center and Southpointe Telecom Technology, the information technology company he owns in Bailey Center. He said taxes, government funds and public grants were not being used.
Six companies have moved into the Southpointe Center offices: Mike McCormick of G7 Networking; A Different Kind of Lobbyist; Hawkeye Services (Industrial Gasp); Electric Vehicle Proton Solutions; Church of Grace and Truth; and Southpointe Telecom Technologies.
Over the past year or so, at least two other county-level organizations have given small businesses and startups a boost: Ignite Business Incubator in Washington and CNX Resources in Southpointe.
Ignite launches at Washington and Jefferson College in 2020 and opens to businesses and businesses on East Chestnut Street in June 2021. Coworking spaces there offer many amenities, depending on the membership tier of the business.
The incubator is dedicated to helping clients build community relationships that allow them to expand their operations.This Observer-Reporter In June, she told the story of Jessica Garda, who opened The Cheerful Balloon Studio & Gift Shop in Ignite in 2020.
She was able to connect with the Washington Business District Authority, which helped her find a place for her business — making balloon art for birthdays and other events. In June, Garda moved Cheerful Balloon to a location on North Street in the city.
Events like this are also a driving force for Shana Brown. Brown is WBDA’s Main Street Manager, where his responsibilities include filling vacant storefronts and revitalizing downtown Washington.
CNX announced in late May that it hopes to invest $30 million through its nonprofit CNX Foundation, which launched in July 2021, to strengthen communities across the Appalachian region.
The investment includes an outreach program, CNX Headquarters, which aims to provide co-working space to give nonprofit, charitable, underserved and underrepresented organizations the opportunity to do business.
The rental space is located at CNX Headquarters, 1000 Consol Energy Drive.
Interested organizations can become Headquarters members and choose from three levels of service and annual fees based on the amount of space and amenities offered.