By: Brad Parsell, Executive Director Fernie Chamber of Commerce
The Fernie Chamber of Commerce board of directors has voted to sign a lease for the organization’s long-planned coworking space in downtown Fernie. The resolution was passed by the board at their regular board meeting held on Thursday January 9, 2020. The Fernie Chamber of Commerce will take possession of the site located at 342 2nd Avenue on April 1, 2020 with a view to opening the coworking space to the public shortly thereafter.
The announcement comes after a lot of groundwork from the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, starting with the commission of a feasibility study for the project which was completed in July 2017. The feasibility study demonstrated a strong demand for a coworking space in Fernie, which has only appeared to grow since then.
Coworking spaces are flexible working solutions utilized by those who like to travel and work remotely, who may traditionally work from home, who are startups and can’t afford a traditional office lease, and by those who want to be surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurial people. The Fernie Chamber of Commerce envisages the space as a hub for business innovation, collaboration and learning with workshops and other professional development opportunities on offer. Several coworking spaces already exist in the Kootenay region in Cranbrook, Invermere, Revelstoke and Nelson.
The building that the Fernie Chamber is taking over for this project is the current home of The Free Press. The Fernie Chamber and The Free Press are currently in negotiations for The Free Press to stay on in their current historical location as a founding anchor tenant for the new coworking space. An announcement on this arrangement, as well as a tentative opening date for the coworking space will be forthcoming at a later date.