Economic Development

Startups Invited to Share Office Space on Elm Street

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The menu of resources at the Common Wealth Kitchen Incubator now includes shared-use office space for any entrepreneur, freelancer, or home-office professional in need of a workplace.

“It seemed like people were using the kitchen for office space. We had a lady who would sit with her computer on her lap and needed a desk,” says Common Wealth’s resource manager, Melissa Miller.

Common Wealth Inc. opened its new shared-use space Oct. 6 at 906 Elm St., across from its Kitchen Incubator and within walking distance of Youngstown State University.

The space is inside a house that Miller didn’t want to see torn down. Instead Common Wealth worked for the past couple months to turn the first floor into office space, leaving the second and third for residential use.

“We are trying to make this a neighborhood that feels vibrant and full again,” Miller says.

The space offers a conference room, general working space or a designated desk for rent. The conference room can hold 12 people and eight desks are available.

A dedicated desk includes unlimited access to your own desk and costs $90 a month. A shared-use desk is $75 for a month, $15 a day, or $6 per hour. Eight desks are available for rent, Miller says. Shared-use space, or working at a communal table, is $10 a day and $5 per hour.

Other amenities are a covered front porch to work on, a kitchenette, lockable storage, multi-functional printer, desktop computer, white board, various office supplies and WiFi.
“We’ve have been hearing about a desire for the space,” Miller says. “We hear it at meetings we attend where people are saying, ‘Office space is so pricey.’ ”

One of the biggest attributes is the affordability of sharing an office space instead of paying for one’s own. “The prices are very modestly priced,” she notes.

“The idea with an incubator is you get a business, you start it, and then move into your own space,” says Common Wealth director Jim Converse. “A lot of the smaller businesses though don’t really need their own office space. Sharing makes business workspace affordable.”

Another benefit of using a shared workspace is networking, being around others in the same situation and collaborations between the office renters. “They are entrepreneurs from a variety of different industries,” Miller says. “Working in a collaborative space can be very inspiring.”

Adds Converse, “The idea is you don’t have to get big. You can own a business on a smaller scale and be successful.”

Pictured at top: Melissa Miller says options include dedicated desks as well as shared-use space.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.