Community Manager Bobby Duke wants the Innovation Hub to be more about community than the physical space itself. These are the steps to achieve that.
Why coworking owners should team up with local economic development
Whether you already run a coworking space or you plan to open a new space, you’ve got something amazing on your hands — a community that’s not just about cool work areas and great coffee. Your coworking space can be a powerhouse in shaping your local economy.
But first, let's talk about economic development offices (EDOs). You can find your local office here.
Economic Development Offices are like the community’s business growth cheerleaders. They’re all about creating jobs, attracting investments, and making sure the local economy is buzzing with activity. Their job is to look at the big picture: from supporting small businesses to attracting big companies, and everything in between. They're the ones who can really help your coworking space shine in the economic spotlight.
Economic Development 101
An Economic Development Director is like a city's business coach. Their role is to help the city's economy grow and become stronger. Here's how they do it.
Why should coworking operators and owners talk to Economic Development folks?
1. You’re a job creating machine
First things first, your space is a job-creating rockstar. It’s not just about the freelancers and startups that set up shop there. Think about all the local gigs it creates – the cleaning crew, the tech support, the catering folks. This is something EDOs love to hear about. They’re all about job numbers and happy, employed locals. Share stories and stats on how your space is a local employment booster.
2. Coworking spaces are innovation and entrepreneurship central
Your coworking space is where the magic happens – where ideas brew and businesses grow. It’s a melting pot of creativity and innovation. Startups and small businesses in your space are getting access to killer resources, mentors, and networking opportunities. This kind of entrepreneurial vibe is exactly what EDOs are looking to promote in their communities.
3. Coworking can turn unused spaces into hotspots
One of the coolest things you’re doing is giving new life to spaces that were just gathering dust. That old warehouse or neglected office building? Now it’s a buzzing hub of activity. This kind of transformation is pure gold for EDOs. It’s about revitalizing neighborhoods and making the community more attractive for other businesses and investors.
4. Boost other local businesses
Your coworking space is like a magnet, drawing people to the area. This means more customers for the local café, the corner store, the nearby gym. It’s a win-win – your members get the convenience, and local businesses get a boost. EDOs eat this stuff up because it means a livelier, more prosperous community.
5. Collaboration is key
The beauty of coworking spaces is in the collaboration. People from different backgrounds and industries sharing ideas and skills. This isn’t just good for the soul; it’s great for business. These collaborations can lead to new ventures and stronger local businesses. EDOs are all about fostering a community where businesses work together and grow together.
6. Niche industries love you
If your space caters to specific industries, you’re creating a hub for specialized talent. This can be a big deal for local economic growth, especially if it leads to creating industry clusters. EDOs dig this because it attracts even more businesses and talent to the area.
How do you get local economic development offices to notice you?
Create Impact Reports: Whip up some cool reports that show off the economic impact of your space. Include job creation numbers, business growth stories – make it snazzy and full of facts.
Host Tours and Events: Invite those EDO folks over. Let them see the energy and community vibe of your space. Organize events that showcase your members and their businesses.
Forge Partnerships: Look for ways to team up with local government and business groups. Think workshops, joint events – anything that puts your space in the economic development spotlight.
Join the Policy Party: Get involved in local economic forums and discussions. Be the voice that highlights the importance of coworking spaces in the community’s economic strategy.
Share Your Success Stories: Use your website, social media, newsletters – whatever tools you’ve got – to share the amazing stories coming out of your space. Show how you’re impacting the local economy and community.
Your coworking space is more than just a place to work; it’s a local economic powerhouse. By connecting with EDOs and showing them the incredible value your space brings, you’re not just growing your business — you’re helping shape the community’s future. So go ahead, reach out to those EDOs, and let's make some economic magic happen!