New Yellow Springs co-working space aims to bring small businesses together

The owner of a co-working space that opened in January in Yellow Springs is hoping to forge community in the space he is renting out.

Mark Obstalecki has been a small business owner of Numismatically Yours for a few years, buying and selling rare coins. While he is also a full-time engineer, he said he wanted to help other small businesses be successful, too, so he invested the money he had made from the coin business into the co-working space.

“I was really successful at it and I really appreciate it, but I wanted other people to have the opportunity as well,” he said.

He said he bought the space in 2019 planning to turn it into a co-working space. The co-working space is called Coactive Yellow Springs LLC and is at 506 S. High St.

In creating the space, Obstalecki worked with a local interior designer, Lindsey Engler Interiors, and created several offices to be rented out to small businesses, nonprofits or people who are interested in starting their own small businesses. Obstalecki is occupying one of the spaces with his rare coin business, and another person is renting another office so far, he said.

Obstalecki said he wanted to also use the space to mentor students and wanted to encourage other businesses that rent the space to do so as well.

So far, Obstalecki said he had gotten a lot of interest in the business, especially from people who wanted to drop in and rent a desk for an hour or two. But he said he wasn’t accepting that type of client at this time due to COVID-19.

“Just really trying to minimize the number of people to the members themselves and not letting drop-ins come in is another way we’re trying to reduce the risk, at least for now,” he said.

Starting a co-working business during COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, he said, but he decided last year during the middle of the pandemic that he should go forward with the project. He said he was glad he decided to move forward, though the number of people who are willing to work in an office setting right now seems to be down.

“I’m hoping that in the next few months, especially as we push the summer, that the virus moves on and it’s less of a concern,” he said.

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