Small businesses using new RBA space

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January 29, 2015 9:02 AM

Life coach Daleen Pinder, centre, leads a work-life management seminar at the Regional Business Accelerator' new Entrepreneur Centre boardroom. Since October, the RBA has been renting out office space for new business owners - Josef Jacobson Photo

Life coach Daleen Pinder is organizing papers and collecting business cards. She just finished up her work-life management seminar in the Lloydminster Regional Business Accelerator (RBA)‘s new Entrepreneur Centre boardroom.

“I feel like it went over well,” Pinder said of the RBA’s first seminar of the year. “I think that a lot of people are dealing with stress and are overwhelmed and overworked and (don’t) have enough time in the day, and people are looking for resources to help them be more productive and more focused and bring them to a place where they feel in control.”

One of those resources is the Entrepreneur Centre. Since opening in October, it offers a space where people can rent out offices and a boardroom for business purposes. There is also a common area where people can get a coffee, work on their computers or just talk.

RBA executive director Marya Pettigrew says the idea for the Entrepreneur Centre came from studying similar projects in other communities. She says offering space for rent can be appealing to new businesses who want to avoid “cumbersome” lease agreements.

“You’re paying for a lot of space you might not even need, so the idea of having co-working space and you rent just the office and then you share the common areas to reduce your overhead and reduce your risk for your new business was very attractive to us,” she said. “Our boardroom is being booked by travelling professionals and local people starting businesses.”

Pinder first started working with the RBA in the summer, and as a travelling businesswoman she sees value is having access to the RBA’s resources.

“I’m from Elk Point, so partnering with the RBA has been really beneficial for me, giving me some credibility, but also having this beautiful space to be able to put workshops on in Lloydminster,” she said.

Sitting at her computer in one office is Linda Ehman. Her family business, LPL Management Ltd., designs and installs grain facility interiors. She started working out of her home office, then turned to the RBA after talking with Pettigrew about the new office space.

“Marya had chatted with me about the RBA and I thought it was a really good opportunity. We were looking for a place where we could have a small office and access to a boardroom and this puts it together in a package,” she said. “In the case of the boardroom, we’ve already used it for meetings and it’s been accommodating for us because we’ve had evening meetings.”

Ehman says the arrangement has worked out well and intends to use the office while her business is still growing. She has also had the chance to meet and network with other local business people who frequent the Entrepreneur Centre.

“The woman in the next office is a massage therapist,” she said. “My daughter already has a massage booked.”

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