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Danville’s newest coworking space supports small businesses in city’s economic growth

Soar Space Business Center is the newest coworking space in Danville. Soar Space focuses on supporting small and micro business owners.

DANVILLE – The Golden Nugget Danville casino has opened. Large employers like Viscofan, Carle Health and Christie Clinic have constructed new facilities or added to their buildings.

These are a few of the economic changes in Danville in recent years, as the city tries to reverse the population decline that started in the 1970s. 

Alderman and Trep School founder Tricia Teague wants small businesses to participate in the city’s economic growth – through a new coworking space called Soar Space Business Center.

“Much of the [economic development] activity focuses on attracting large players, corporate players and manufacturers into town,” Teague said.

“You end up in a situation where the economics of the city and the economic condition of the people that live there remain the same, because they’re always getting the lowest level jobs.”

She says small business owners can create as many jobs as large companies, and the jobs are more likely to go to locals.

Tenant joins Soar Space to meet peers

Tricia Teague (center) officially opened Soar Space in late June 2023. Courtesy of Soar Space Business Center

Soar Space officially opened to the public at the end of June at the Towne Centre at 2 E. Main St. Two of three offices have been booked, and one of eight rentable desks have been claimed.

General membership to float between common tables and couches starts at $50 a month. The rent for the largest office is currently $750 a month. Each lease can last as little as a month – crucial for small startups, according to Teague.

Alvarez Dixon often works from the desk he rented at Soar Space. He founded an indoor inflatable playground and arcade in Danville, called The JumpOff.

While he has a home office, he appreciates the focus that comes with leaving the house for work. He also wants to bounce ideas off fellow entrepreneurs.

“Friends and family are great, but usually they’re your best cheerleaders and not necessarily your best sounding boards,” Dixon said.

Both Teague and Dixon said that Soar Space provides a rare meeting space for business professionals and that the other alternative is hotel conference rooms.

Dixon has already organized an event there with the Black Entrepreneurs Network.

Teague hopes to host more networking events in the fall.

There is already one coworking and flexible office space in Danville, First Place Coworking Space.

Emily Hays is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow her on Twitter @amihatt.

Picture of Emily Hays

Emily Hays

Emily Hays started at WILL in October 2021 after three-plus years in local newsrooms in Virginia and Connecticut. She has won state awards for her housing coverage at Charlottesville Tomorrow and her education reporting at the New Haven Independent. Emily graduated from Yale University where she majored in History and South Asian Studies.

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