Jodi Saevre knows the struggles of being an entrepreneur and working from home.
Her experiences led her to do something to help others like herself.
She and her husband, Paul, bought a building in downtown Evansville and turned it into a co-working space where small-business owners can collaborate with others and work on their own.
Palace Meets opened Friday at 17 W. Main St., in a building that once housed the Palace Meat Market.
“Being small-business owners ourselves, we understand how that need can be there,” Saevre said.
The Saevres were debating whether to fill the building with office spaces after buying it a few years ago.
They talked with Jason Sergeant, Evansville’s community development director, who mentioned co-working space as an alternative.
After touring similar spaces in Madison and researching co-working spaces, the Saevres decided to give it a shot.
Co-working spaces are office spaces shared by employees from different companies. The arrangement allows small companies to split the cost of utilities, equipment, cleaning and other things.
“We immediately knew this was a good concept, and having something like this in a small city to help other business owners is a good thing,” Saevre said.
A standard membership costs $100 per month and features shared working space with tables and office chairs. A “drop in” pass is available for $15 per day for temporary users.
Saevre estimated the public space can fit up to 15 people.
Wi-Fi is free for tenants, and coffee and snacks will be available. Members are not locked into a lease and have 24-hour access to the building.
Saevre said guest speakers occasionally will offer free educational seminars to the entrepreneurs. A small conference room, standard office supplies and a community copy machine are also included.
Three private offices are also available at the facility for $300 per month.
After a year of renovations and prep work, the building is ready to go.
“I’m excited to be a part of it, and we’re excited to see how the community receives it,” Saevre said.
Sergeant agreed, saying a business person who currently commutes to a Madison office now can stay in Evansville and be successful.
“We wanted to do something that would encourage entrepreneurship and small-business owners,” he said. “It’s a missing puzzle piece we now have”.