CO+HOOTS helps entrepreneurs

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Starting up a business can be scary, especially in these tough economic times, but some Valley entrepreneurs are making their mark by sharing everything from office space to ideas.

“We're separate from corporate America in that there is no office politics involved in this kind of work environment,” Jenny Poon said. “You work for yourself. There is not really a boss anywhere.”

That’s right, not a boss in sight at CO+HOOTS near Seventh and Roosevelt streets. The historic building was once home to the first grocery store in the area, but today, it's a place where several independent workers share office space, share the rent and even share ideas.

“In this kind of economy, small businesses are the ones that are going to bring us out of the recession,” said Poon, operations manager at CO+HOOTS.

Poon said the creative co-working spot houses everything from a landscape architect to an interactive Web strategist to public relations and marketing folks.

“The trial period is about a week until they get to meet everybody,” Poon said. “We decide as a group if it's going to work because you don't want to work in an environment where you don't get along with people.”

If you make the cut, the cost for a lite membership at CO+HOOTS is $350 a month. This includes a desk, Wi-Fi, lock box and 24-hour access to the building.

“I was currently looking for office spaces and paying $1,000 to go into another kind of isolated box that was probably the biggest issue I couldn't bring myself to do, but when this came up, it was a lot cheaper,” said Eric Lennox with Artifex 10.

If you're hoping to avoid paying rent every month, then you can take advantage of the drop-in section. For $10 a day, you can grab an available desk and Wi-Fi.

“You just work without the distractions of a coffee shop,” Poon said.

In addition to cutting costs, working in this kind of environment means you get something else.

“We found that by actually collaborating and helping each other out and sharing ideas and sharing ways of doing business that we all mutually benefit,” said Matt Clower with ClowerPower Studio.

“Everybody has been through what they don't like and they stop here and find what they do like.” Poon said.

The folks at CO+HOOTS also plan on having functions with speakers, seminars and other large-scale events.

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