By Olivia Overman
In January 2017, CENTERFUSE, a business co-working facility, opened on the corner of Center and Main Street in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas. This facility, described as an incubator where business owners can grow their businesses, offers an option for those who need a professional setting to work in, without the D.C. commute. So many companies, as well as state and the federal governments, offer teleworking options these days.
CENTERFUSE may just be the professional business setting these workers need.
Jointly owned by Bennett and Gayle Whitlock and Ken and Jackie Krick, CENTERFUSE is a partnership with the City of Manassas. “The city had the establishment of a co-working space on their strategic plan for several years and even had some plans drawn up, but it had not materialized,” said Gayle Whitlock, who serves as operations manager. Working hand-in-hand with the city, CENTERFUSE is able to offer “a great place to bring new businesses ready to grow into the city in a professional, collaborative setting, with access to dining and shopping as well,” Whitlock said.
Benefits Offered at CENTERFUSE
CENTERFUSE offers many options for all types of businesses and individuals — including entrepreneurs, freelancers and contractors. Membership options include private offices, a semi-private dedicated desk, open flex space and virtual offices. The use of conference room facilities is included with all memberships or can be added on when using day passes.
“The virtual office gives you a mailbox, we receive your packages, and will forward or scan and email your mail and allows your business to have a professional commercial address. Super-fast Wi-Fi, coffee and tea are included. A color printer and scanner are available as well. This has been a popular option for business
owners currently working out of their home,” said Whitlock.
For many businesses that are literally trying to grow from the kitchen table, CENTERFUSE may just be the facility they need to help them grow. With a professional space to work in, to bring clients and to have mail delivered to, businesses are able to concentrate on the work at hand and let their businesses develop
But it’s not just the physical facilities and membership that make CENTERFUSE special, it is also the programming, mentoring and networking events available. “We offer programming and networking to help you grow your business. All you have to do is show up — and CENTERFUSE will deliver all the connections
you need to be successful,” said Whitlock.
CENTERFUSE hosts Small Business Development Center’s mentor George Siragusa each Thursday. Local SBDC affiliations offer free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on topics including business planning, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, international trade and much more. This is a free service offered at CENTERFUSE to help businesses grow.
The organization 1 Million Cups meets at CENTERFUSE each Wednesday morning from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. They are an international business group with a mission to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs with their communities.
CENTERFUSE also offers a monthly Lunch and Learn on a variety of professional topics on the third Thursday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Additionally, CENTERFUSE is planning its second Launch A Business incubator program this spring.
Speaking about CENTERFUSE and what is offered, Jinnae Monroe of Professionals by Design said “[CENTERFUSE] is a great place to connect and gain new knowledge from the monthly lunch and learns.”
Denise Yingling, a client of CENTERFUSE said, “This is a beautiful facility. Every event I’ve attended there has been a great experience. The programs they run are educational and informative. Great workspace for a small business or start-up.”
Convenience, Convenience, Convenience
Operated via an app, CENTERFUSE allows members to book what they need from their smartphones, whether it is a conference room or additional office space. They can even use the app to pay an invoice. It’s convenience all the way at the facility.
Even its location is convenient. Manassas offers a location that is not only accessible to the county but to all of Northern Virginia. There is also a Virginia Railway Express train stop that connects clients to Washington, D.C. Free two-hour parking, as well as plenty of on-street parking, puts the cherry on top.
Proving that CENTERFUSE is a facility that provides options for whatever phase of business you are in, Whitlock said, “Our private offices are fully rented … our “virtual office” mailboxes have proved very popular, we have two conference rooms which are very popular. CENTERFUSE focuses on collaboration
— you may be solo in your business but you’re not alone at CENTERFUSE.”
To learn more about CENTERFUSE and what they have to offer, call 844-324-WORK (9675) or visit CENTERFUSE.work.
Olivia Overman ([email protected]) is a freelance writer for both online and print organizations. She earned a M.A. in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University, Washington, D.C.