Southsider Voice correspondent
Representatives from Perry Township businesses and institutions were on hand July 29 for the launch of the Southside Business Initiative, an economic program that’s ready to accept members while promoting growth.
The initiative, which will feature coworking office space, will operate out of a building behind Cardinal Insurance Services, 6825 Madison Ave.
“We wanted something here in Perry Township, right on the Southport and Madison corridor to be available to our folks,” said Steve Battiato, chairman of the initiative’s advisory board.
Those looking to use the office space can sign up for membership at $50 a month or $500 a year. The space will not officially open until Oct. 1, but Battiato wants those looking to utilize the facility to know there are reasons to sign up now. The annual membership period won’t start until Oct. 1; founding members can get in on classes and other programs starting this month.
Co-working offices have been implemented in different cities across central Indiana, including Fishers, Zionsville and Columbus, and in Fountain Square. Joan Miller, president of the Greater Southside Business Alliance and board member of the initiative, stressed how vital it was for the township to have this type of office space before other local cities implement programs.
“We need this,” she said. “Perry Township needed to do something first in a big time way. We are just excited that this is going to happen and the GSBA and GSCA were able to find the resources and get this thing moving.”
The space will have high-speed Internet service, private telephone rooms, a copier and a conference room that seats up to 16. There is an option for a private desk.
A $30,000 donation from an anonymous donor allowed for the initiative (727-0760, www.indysbi.org) to move forward with the opening faster than expected.
“We accelerated our timetable by about six weeks based on that,” Battiato said.
The guest speakers included Dr. Thomas Little, superintendent of Perry Township Schools. Little was among those saying they expect to see high school entrepreneurs use the facility.
“We know and understand the concept of a strong flourishing community equals a strong flourishing education system,” Little said. “We go hand and hand together.”
Battiato wants to encourage all types of business owners and professionals to utilize the office space and that members will network with each other.
“We are looking for folks who are working out of their homes, who are trying to find a place that’s affordable to start and build their businesses,” Battiato said. “So it’s not just the 20-somethings; we want the accountants; we want the plumbers; we want the lawyers. We want the folks who are in their second and third careers to feel more than welcome to be a part of the Southside Business Initiative.”