Square One a new space for business starts

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Apr 17, 2018 at 8:49 PM

ERWIN — Erwin is sporting a new, state-of-the-art work space for budding businesses and business people who work from home without the benefit of high-speed internet, networking opportunities, a conference area and other helpful amenities.

A first for the town, Square One coworkers space opened with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday morning in the former Range dance school at 211 S. Elm Ave.

A partnership of the Joint Economic Development Board of Unicoi County, Erwin Utilities and Erwin Fiber, Square One is designed to help entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground and in so doing, create new jobs for the town and for the county.

Lee Brown, chairman of the JEDB and Erwin Utilities’ general manager, said the facility had been discussed for some time and work to make it happen began in earnest in December.

Erwin Utilities, which owns the building, donated its use for the venture. Because the utility cannot sublease its properties, Brown said the loan of the building to help grow the local economy “made perfect sense.”

“We’re all about creating jobs,” he said. And in time, the hope is the facility will create a small income for JEDB through its affordable daily, weekly and monthly lease opportunities.

Its features include 24-hour availability with keyless entry; a modern, attractive and comfortable work area; wireless gigabit internet, a 54-inch smart TV/monitor, a color copier/printer, collaborative coworking space with dry erase tables, a wall of coworking desks as well as a private office space.

Tyler Engle, JEDB director, said now that the facility is open, the goal is to spread the word of its availability.

RISE Erwin, the town’s young professional group, will meet at the facility later this week and Engle said meet and greets will be held in the future to help orient the business community to the use of the facility.

More information about Square One, including the opportunity to book online, is available at squareoneerwin.com, or more information and booking may be obtained by contacting Engle at [email protected] or 423-743-9555.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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