Opening of the first coworking space in the village of Schoharie – The Daily Gazette


SCHOHARIE — Economic development officials on Wednesday touted a new era of economic opportunity in the village as they officially cut the ribbon for the village’s first coworking space.

The site at 287 Main St., which is managed by Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation (SEEC), will allow freelancers and entrepreneurs to use the two-story space to meet and work in a hub for the local business community .

The site housed a branch of Bank of America which closed in late 2020. Prior to the branch’s closure, the bank began discussions with State Assemblyman Chris Tague, R, about donating the ownership to a non-profit Schoharie group.

The MP then facilitated talks between the bank and SEEC over acquiring the property, with the bank then donating the facility to the group in 2021.

“The bank said, ‘Do you have a non-profit that we would be comfortable giving the building to? ‘” Tague said when opening the site. “I said, ‘I really know that.’ The SEEC organization was still in its infancy and I called [Chair of the SEEC Board of Directors] Thomas Putnam and asked them if they were looking for a place where they could really do something and they said yes. Fortunately, I was able to bring the two parties together and we owe a big thank you to Bank of America.

Tague said he thought the Main Street location was ideal for the coworking site and pointed to the building’s rich history, which housed a State Bank of Albany branch before becoming a Bank of America site.

“It’s the community center for the whole county because the county office building is across the street,” he said. “So it makes sense that it’s here. This building has a rich history. Most young people here got their first loans for anything right here in this building. »

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-51st District, attended the dedication and said the initiative was unique in the area.

“It’s like a keystone of economic development,” he said. “With first impressions, you want to attract businesses and you want to show them that you have facilities like this. To do something like this is an incredible project. Coming from Cooperstown, I’ll use a basic analogy – they hit a grand slam. It’s beautiful and I think it will be a real lure to attract businesses.

SEEC, a non-profit organization funded by local business leaders, hopes the coworking space will boost the local business scene. “Having this facility here on Main Street couldn’t make a bigger statement for that commitment and how we want to bring the community into this space and share all of the economic development resources with the community,” said the SEEC Executive Director. , Julie Pacatte, to the crowd. the launching ceremony.

“This is the place for it to happen. It has already started to happen; last week we launched our Enlighten series for digital marketing.”
The digital marketing event allowed local small business owners to learn from digital marketing experts. The coworking space is currently hosting events and presentations but has not finalized engagements with potential tenants for the building.

The mayor of the village Lawrence Caza, at the end of the ceremony, declared that the establishment of a workspace in the heart of the village should prove economically beneficial for the municipality.

“I hope it shows a commitment that economic development and helping businesses and growth is so important to us,” Caza said. “They (SEEC) have their skin in the game. They have invested their money and their time and they are getting noticed. When professional business people say to the world, “This is an important place, you should come and see it and maybe have a business here”, that kind of relieves the municipalities. Everyone thinks we have all this power, but our thing is to bring the right people together to communicate. But I can’t bring in a company.

The mayor said he hopes the coworking space can attract a thriving group of customers. “People can come in and maybe start an incubator or take a web-based business and give it a face for a while,” he said.

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