WAYNESBORO – As Grow Waynesboro’s search to find and fund the best new businesses of 2017 intensifies, this local economy initiative is announcing a new attraction for local entrepreneurs: free coworking space in downtown Waynesboro.
Heralded in major cities across the United States as the latest trend for independent, freelancing, and entrepreneurial professionals, coworking is a concept that merges the spirit of the start-up with the support of collaborative space. Often providing a low-cost and flexible work environment, coworking spaces are places where entrepreneurs can access many amenities not otherwise traditionally available to home offices or solitary store fronts: conference rooms, shared printing equipment, high speed internet, and often coffee around which new entrepreneurs can swap inspiration, ideas, and skill sets.
In Waynesboro’s case, the new coworking site will be located in the second story of The Farmhaus on Main, located at 908 W Main Street and operational the same hours. The Farmhaus will sell coffee, breakfast, and lunch options downstairs, while entrepreneurs can work upstairs, utilizing a reservable conference table, shared printing equipment, and individual workspaces provided by Grow Waynesboro through a Department of Housing and Community Development grant. Free high speed internet and even the opportunity to receive business mail at the coworking site are additional benefits that will be available to local entrepreneurs.
The Farmhaus is pleased to be part of the unfolding 2017 energy. “As young entrepreneurs investing in downtown Waynesboro, we are excited to be a part of this new public-private partnership, and also to meet and interact with many of the local start-up entrepreneurs we hope will be utilizing the space,” says Aaron Mallory, co-founder of The Farmhaus on Main. “As local business owners, we have so much to learn from each other, and I know we will all benefit from being more connected and engaged in a network of local entrepreneurship.”
The announcement of the new coworking site, which will open in February, comes as Grow Waynesboro is seeking to fill its 2017 roster of start-up entrepreneurs, who after completing a business planning course will be eligible to compete for up to $51,000 in start-up funds to be given away by Grow Waynesboro this spring. Local entrepreneurs who are considering or planning to open a new business in 2017 must apply for the program by January 17, 2017. The application for the combined training and grants program is available on the initiative’s website, www.GrowWaynesboro.com.
“Grow Waynesboro is best known for its grant program, providing entrepreneurial training and competitive funding for local start-up businesses,” says Courtney Cranor, Assistant Economic Development and Tourism Director for the City of Waynesboro. “We also recognize that the breadth of assistance needed by new entrepreneurs is wide, ranging from mentorship to affordable spaces in which to begin, test, and grow their new business. We see providing a coworking space as one tool in a broader toolbox to provide a comprehensive suite of services to new businesses in Waynesboro.”