Northern Community Investment Corporation’s (NCIC) new weekly office hours at Do North Coworking offer entrepreneurs a resource to advance their businesses through access to information about grants and other business-support opportunities.
Do North Coworking, at 930 Broad St. in downtown Lyndonville, is a new Northern Vermont University-Lyndon economic development initiative that provides space and business services for member entrepreneurs and remote workers, as well as amenities for drop-in users. NCIC’s hours at Do North Coworking, 1-4 p.m. each Wednesday now through June, mark the first time the nonprofit — with offices in St. Johnsbury and Lancaster, New Hampshire — has offered regular, off-site office hours.
“We thought it might make us more approachable, having potential applicants stop into the coworking space and chat rather than talking in a more formal office environment,” NCIC project manager Aaron Krone says. “The office hours provide area businesses a way to talk about their strategy for growth, the future of the business and opportunities available to help them reach their goals.”
During the office hours, Krone meets with entrepreneurs and business owners to discuss NCIC’s small-business grants program, and lending and community-support options, in addition to making referrals to other organizations and agencies.
Hosting NCIC is another way Do North Coworking supports economic development and entrepreneurship in the Northeast Kingdom.
“One of our primary goals at Do North is to support and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Northeast Kingdom. NCIC has vast experience supporting area businesses. Resources like their technical assistance program help businesses take the crucial step of establishing a digital presence,” Do North Coworking entrepreneur-in-residence Evan Carlson says. “Access to funding can be a challenge for any business, and it’s easy to feel alone when building a startup or small business. With NCIC’s office hours, business owners have a resource to talk to.”
Do North Coworking, which opened in November 2018, has about 20 regular members and about 20 drop-in users each month. The coworking space offers monthly, technology-focused meet-ups that are free for the public, and occasional hackathons, at which participants find ways to address community challenges.
This summer, Do North Coworking will launch Co-Starters, an ongoing, nine-week program to develop entrepreneurial ideas and expand small businesses.
For more information, visit DoNorthCoworking.com, or email Team@DoNorthCoworking.com.