By Jessica Vaughn
FOLEY – A new business is opening up in Foley, one that aims to help many more businesses make their way to the area. The HOTSpot is run by local attorney Angela Grace, who among doing litigation, works with small business support. The business will be located in the previous Onlooker building, which Grace says is a nice element to have a building steeped in media history.
“I work with a lot of small companies, a lot of entrepreneurial companies,” Grace said. “I’m not talking about startups, so this isn’t really an incubator, this is really a coworking space that we’re creating here in Foley. It’s designed to assist small businesses to have the opportunity to ‘plug-and-play’ instead of having to go into a community and set up everything.”
Grace stated coworking spaces such as The HOTSpot are successful catalysts to growing a community. Coworking spaces are useful to people who work from home, people who travel with work and do not have a permanent location, virtual offices, or anyone who works outside of a traditional office but would still like a place to hold meetings or is in the need of office supplies and Internet.
“The industry is shifting, the traditional brick and mortar offices are going away because of the high cost,” Grace said. “These spaces are very attractive for work at home professionals, and even contractors, startups, travelers, and anyone looking to have access to other people and support.”
Membership will be approximately $125 a month, with a $50 deposit that will be key access. The price depends on what services are needed per business, so the price could be higher or lower depending on that. Members will get a full-service workspace, WiFi, copiers, mail and delivery services, full access to multimedia marketing and other essential services, a strong work environment with other business owners, use of the conference room and small kitchen, as well as invitations to weekly info seminars. While not a 24-hour a day business, Grace stated she hopes to one day be open 24/7.
Members of The HOTSpot will be able to use the space to work, collaborate, be creative, and grow their companies before spanning out into the greater Foley community. The front half of the building will be used for professional services, and anyone who utilizes The HOTSpot will have discounted services for legal, accounting, and bookkeeping. The back will be used for multimedia, where people can do livestream podcasts, YouTube videos, and support will be offered for any online media or advertising.
“It will be an open environment where the idea is energy, that collaborative energy,” Grace said. “Most people who are working from home already have their space, they’re looking for the more collaborative environment.”
Local Gary Campbell from Bay Minette is working with The HOTSpot, and testified before the Foley council his referral of the new business.
“This was a real catalyst for me,” Campbell said, who has just closed a deal in Foley and has two small businesses thanks to his meeting with Grace. “If we want my generation to stay here, then we’ve got to have something like this here. It truly changed the way I look at this area. I see the potential now. I’ve grown so much through this concept and I just want everybody to know that we need this here.”
Keep a lookout on VisitFoley.com for a Grand Opening announcement, taking place soon.