Why Downtown Sioux Falls Needs a Flexible Workspace
Have you heard the news? Startup Sioux Falls is moving!
By the end of 2022, our organization will be setting up shop in the old Milwaukee Freight Depot building downtown. More than just a place to house our team, our new location downtown will be an event space, a flexible workspace, a clubhouse for entrepreneurs and the heartbeat of our startup community. This is a really big deal—not only for the startup founders and small business owners in our community, but for the city of Sioux Falls and our bustling downtown as well.
But for many, it begs the question: what exactly IS a flexible workspace? And why is it so important for us to have one here in Sioux Falls?
Simply put, a flexible workspace or coworking space is a shared office space designed to provide an affordable alternative to a more traditional office. Coworking is a great way for new and existing businesses to limit overhead costs (by as much as 30% according to the Economic Times), but this is far from the only benefit it provides.
Who Is Coworking for?
Let’s take a step back and think about who stands to benefit from a coworking space in downtown Sioux Falls:
- Entrepreneurs & Small Teams
The membership model provided by coworking spaces allows entrepreneurs and small teams much more flexibility. Is your team’s size changing? Simply adjust your memberships to match. Do your employees want to split their time between working from home and in-person with their team? Great! The low cost of coworking makes it easy to give your employees a space to work from when they need it without wasting money on an empty desk when they don’t. Coworking is flexible—making it perfect for founders.
- Freelancers & Solopreneurs
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 1.5 MILLION new business applications in just the third quarter of 2020 alone—almost double the figure for the same period of 2019. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic spurred a new wave of entrepreneurs choosing to hang their own shingle. Why is that important? Well, freelancers make up the largest coworking demographic in the world—roughly 41% of all coworking space members. Without a local coworking space, we are ill-equipped to accommodate and support this influx of new founders in Sioux Falls.
- Remote Workers
It’s no secret that Sioux Falls is a great place to live. We’ve been ranked as the best city for young professionals, one of the best places to live, and one of the happiest cities in America. With all of that in mind, it’s no wonder people are flocking to our city in droves. This, coupled with the fact that Vox estimates 70% of the workforce will be working remotely in some capacity by 2025 paints a clear picture that workers are no longer shackled to the same city as their employer. With the likely trend of more and more remote workers choosing to call Sioux Falls home, it will be critical that we provide these workers with a remote-friendly option more conducive to getting real work done than their trusty kitchen table.
Coworking & Entrepreneurship
So, how does coworking stand to benefit our entrepreneurial community? As it turns out, coworking and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Beyond the obvious cost-saving measures of coworking spaces, entrepreneurs gravitate toward places like these because they allow for the free flow of ideas, a sense of community and endless opportunities to collaborate with other entrepreneurially-minded individuals. We need to make this space a reality because, simply put, there is no central gathering place for our city’s entrepreneurs.
Our space will bring the entrepreneurs in our community together. This is particularly important when you consider that, according to an article published by the Small Business Economics journal, entrepreneurs are nearly twice as likely to struggle with depression and nearly three times as likely to struggle with addiction when compared to the general population. The fact is that entrepreneurship is a lonely and disproportionately stressful occupation. The best way to mitigate this is to foster a strong sense of community—which is difficult to do without a physical gathering space.
Coworking & Community
Now, if you’re not an entrepreneur, a freelancer or a remote worker, you might be asking yourself why all of this matters to you. Regardless of your own personal use case for a coworking space downtown, supporting entrepreneurship is crucial for a thriving local economy. In fact, according to the Kauffman Foundation, new businesses account for nearly ALL of net new job creation. At the risk of sounding cliche, a rising tide lifts all boats. More businesses equals more new jobs which, in turn, equals greater opportunity and prosperity for our community.
Additionally, in moving downtown, we will be bringing our organization closer to many of the region’s crucial resource providers and partners. Most notably, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and our city officials all operate downtown. This move will enable Startup Sioux Falls to much more easily collaborate with each of these organizations by nature of their proximity. And, while we will be moving away from some of the valuable resource partners that occupy our current facility—such as the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center and South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions, we will continue to collaborate with each of these organizations and serve as their front door downtown.
Ultimately, our move to downtown Sioux Falls is reflective of a much greater transition that is happening in our community—one that will continue to drive economic development, innovation and collaboration in our city for the next decade and beyond.
Interested in being part of our space on day one? We’re rolling out a Founders Club just for folks like you. Sign up to get additional information and updates once it launches: