Can’t afford a swanky downtown office space? Come next year, you might be able to rent a desk or two in the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s revamped Laurel Street headquarters, BRAC officials revealed this afternoon during a tour of the new digs.
Ideally, the currently closed-off room that will become known as the “entrepreneur hub” will be available to local startups, budding entrepreneurs and partner organizations for use within the next year, says BRAC Executive Vice President Michael DiResto.
“It would be set up to where smaller startups that want a downtown space could reserve two desks on a monthly basis, for example,” he says, noting several groups have already expressed interest. “We want this to be a collaborative space for not just our staff, but the community.”
While the logistics for such a service haven’t been fully fleshed out yet, DiResto says small business services-oriented partners—such as the Small Business Development Council, Procurement Technical Assistance Center and SCORE Baton Rouge—would likely be able to secure the space at no charge, whereas independent startups would work through some sort of fee structure to save a spot, possibly through a short-term lease agreement.
In late August, BRAC’s 30 employees moved back into their office at 564 Laurel St., which had been under construction for nearly a year. The chamber is unveiling the remodeled “Center for Economic Development” to the public during an event Friday that will last from 3 to 6 p.m.