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Mesa small businesses have new space, support from the city

Thursday was the grand opening in Mesa of what city officials are calling a state-of-the-art facility to support small to midsize businesses and entrepreneurs.

The venture is called the Mesa Business Builder @ The Studios, and it’s operating in the old city library.

What started out as a city effort to help its businesses during the COVID-19 pandemi c has expanded into an umbrella of programs and services under the Mesa Business Builder brand. 

Small businesses make up about 80% of all enterprises in this East Valley community.

City Manager Chris Brady says the business world is evolving and @ The Studios is designed to help businesses experiment.

“If you’re trying to develop a new concept, where can you go to test that out? Where can you have the intersection of what you’re looking for, and maybe you want to partner up or find somebody else who’s doing something similar to create partnerships. We want to be helpful. We want to be the hub for those small businesses," Brady said. 

The facility specifically offers free trainings, events, collaboration spaces and equipment. From conference rooms to a podcast studio to a computer lab, city officials like Jaye O’Donnell say it has a lot to offer to businesses, entrepreneurs and even students. 

“We do want to know who needs the space, who needs to use the space, so there will be a booking system and the reservation system is going to go live July 1," O’Donnell said. 

While reservations are not available yet, events and workshops are already taking place. 

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Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.