City Office provides more than workspace in Downtown Bay City

One year after opening its doors, City Office remains committed to helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into businesses.

City Office, 401 Center Ave., is a collaborative, professional workspace for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. City Office members can turn to each other for expert advice in handling the inevitable hiccups that come with owning a small business.

The workspace in the basement of City Market provides members both shared and private offices, conference rooms, and more. As part of its efforts to encourage business growth, City Office offers events to help both members and non-members collaborate.

At the end of January, City Office hosted Strategy Week, which saw subject experts come to the Office to share their knowledge and answer questions. The event was so successful that plans are in the works to repeat it in November.

At least one attendee is ready.

Shelly Budnik, who is laying the groundwork to open a non-profit organization that employs people with disabilities and other cognitive challenges, has benefited from both Strategy Week and another City Office program, Community Think Tank.

Budnike’s goal for her business, Golden Angels Cafe & Farm, is to not only educate, but also to motivate the community to develop more resources and job opportunities for people of all different abilities. Golden Angels will rely on hands-on teaching to help individuals learn a variety of skills. These skills include raising livestock, planting crops, and working in a professional restaurant setting.

Budnik attended all three days of Strategy Week. The event gave her a better understanding of the importance and the impact of social media and networking have on business success.

“I wish there were more classes now, I’m ready, feed me more information,” Budnik enthused. “I took the classes, and they were really helpful for me. It opened my eyes because I personally am not really familiar with social media, but I have to do it, it’s the world we live in, and I am open to it.”

City Office Community Manager Marjo Morden plans to repeat Strategy Week Nov. 16-22 in conjunction with Global Entrepreneur Week. More immediately, City Office hosts events such as Beatbox, Beer & Board Game and Lunch & Learn.

Morden said the goal of both strategy weeks is to help entrepreneurs utilize the expertise and experience of the speakers. She offered it in January to help organize business plans, objectives, and focuses for the new year. Repeating it in November helps business lay the groundwork for 2021.

“I wanted to provide a place where anyone can come and just get away from their primary office and their work environment and the distractions of that space,” Morden said.

During the first Strategy Week, Phil Eich, the owner of Full Steam Social Media, presented a talk titled “Share your Story through Social Media.” Eich touched on what does and does not work on social media for businesses. He believes City Office and events such as Strategy Week are critical resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“I think one of the great things about City Office is that, along with providing resources to help entrepreneurs, they're also working to create community and relationships between people,” Eich said. “They have Community Think Tanks, the Strategy Week, and social events that not only service to help people with their business, but they’re also putting people in situations where they can help each other.”

The idea for Strategy Week came from an event the office regularly hosts called Community Think Tank. During Community Think Tank, professionals gather every other Tuesday to connect, network, and bounce ideas and perspectives off one another. The topics range from social media strategies to fundraising ideas to mission statements. Community Think Tank is offered to members and non-members on Feb. 25, March 10, and March 24.

Many events are open to non-members, but the other benefits are not. City Office offers membership options that range from a $15 Day Pass, to a full Corporate Plus Membership for $4,800 per year. The Corporate Plus Membership includes unlimited, daily access for as many as three employees.


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