Wednesday, October 26 , 2016, 11:16 am | Mostly Cloudy 61º



First Co-Working Offices to Open in Santa Maria

MIYB Spaces will provide desks, conference rooms and more for entrepreneur members

Passersby probably thought the man washing cars outside what looked like a vacant building on Main Street in Santa Maria was merely taking advantage of an empty parking lot on a recent sunny morning to drum up business.

But he actually was an entrepreneur, one of dozens who will soon work in (or outside) the space at 429 E. Main St.

Santa Maria’s first co-working facility, MIYB Spaces, is set for a soft opening this week, with a grand opening the first weekend in May.

The two-story space was the brainchild of Anne Cremarosa, director of the Small Business Entrepreneur Center at Allan Hancock College.

The building’s namesake — Make It Your Business (MIYB) — is a campaign and for-profit entity that Cremarosa created to focus on fostering the success of local entrepreneurs.

MIYB launched last month when 100 locals gathered at the Santa Maria Inn for a conference bearing the same name and purpose.

“It really kind of started as a grass-roots effort,” said Cremarosa, who for years has wanted a co-working facility for her community. “There’s lots of opportunities in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo for an entrepreneur trying to do business. My feeling is this area has a huge need. We just needed to do something about it.”

Cremarosa took Noozhawk on a tour of MIYB Spaces last week, while cleaning crews added finishing touches to a building in the heart of town that used to house Arrow Photo.

Three bright red, old-fashioned phone booths provide a place for clients to make private calls at MIYB Spaces in Santa Maria. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

She excitedly walked through conference rooms, lounge areas, offices that would hold four desks, and even a vault room, since the building at one time was a bank.

Membership at MIYB Spaces would be similar to other area co-working facilities, such as Santa Barbara’s workzones and SYNERGY, Cremarosa said, explaining that members could pay by the hour, day or month.

Three bright red, old-fashioned phone booths for private calls stood in the open corridor, with a Cottage Bistro and vending machines nearby.

She said members will have access to the space 24/7, along with free Wi-Fi, coffee and assistance from Women’s Economic Ventures and Spokes of San Luis Obispo, which will have desks set up.

“We’re really creating a hub of resources in here,” Cremarosa said.

As an administrator who works with young, local entrepreneurs — and as an Hancock graduate herself — Cremarosa hopes to bridge the opportunity gap that typically sends businesses elsewhere.

“It’s all about building that community,” she said. “There has to be a community to grow business. I don’t want these kids to think they have to do it somewhere else.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >