Business hopes to provide options

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A new Oxford business run by two local entrepreneurs hopes to encourage more entrepreneurs who will create more Oxford businesses.

Phil Baquie and his wife, Lindsey, are renovating the old JC Graphics on University Avenue, turning the 5,000-square-foot building into a co-working space where freelancers, small business start-ups and others can have all the bells and whistles of working in a large office without the high overhead expenses.

Members would essentially lease space in the office building. There will be different levels on available memberships. Members can choose to be part of the co-working area, where there will be couches, officer chairs and tables where people can bounce ideas off each other.

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“They can collaborate with other people,” Baquie said. “We’re planning a community for people in businesses, a place for them to foster ideas.”

Those needing a little more privacy can lease one of the several offices. Three large meeting rooms and a conference room will be available for members to book when needed. Outside businesses also will be able to rent the conference and meeting rooms.

The building will be called The Edison — a place to inspire creativity, Baquie said.

“We’ll have fax machines, high-speed Internet, copy machines — everything that comes in a large office,” he said.

Baquie, a licensed therapist, is the owner of Oxford Counseling Center and his wife owns Epicure Day Spa.

“We understand how starting a business works,” Baquie said. “What we’re creating is a great opportunity for people who want to start but can’t afford a place to do it. Here they’ll have everything they need for a low monthly cost.”

Co-working is a concept quickly growing in popularity in larger cities where office rental space is often astronomical.

“It’s new to Mississippi and we felt Oxford was the perfect spot for it,” Baquie said.

The Edison is undergoing major renovations and Baquie recently presented his plans before the Courthouse Square Historic Preservation Commission. After some concerns over the style of windows, Baquie will return later for final approval.

Part of the plans include building a large staircase that would give those using The Edison access to the city-owned parking lot near the water tower. The Oxford Board of Aldermen will need to approve the plans.

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