Small and emerging businesses in Johannesburg have got a vital hand-up from the City with the creation of a hub that offers office space at affordable rates.

The Business PlaceThe expertise available at the hub will help emerging businesses to succeed in their fields.Located at 58 Marshall Street in the CBD, The Business Place is a partnership between the City of Joburg and the private sector to create an environment which enables emerging businesses to grow and prosper.

This will add stability to their business costs and increase their prospects of successful participation in a highly competitive environment.

“The success of the hub is critical for balanced growth in Johannesburg,” says the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Ruby Mathang. “We are aware of the reality that small businesses have the biggest potential for growth and create much-needed jobs.”

The Business Place offers small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) office space at nominal rates. Its strategic location within the CBD means that SMMEs can now function in close proximity to a range of service providers in finance, banking, IT, marketing, legal and human resources. The facility also offers shared infrastructure and services to help reduce the cost of internet access, photocopiers, boardrooms and canteen facilities and the like.

“The primary idea is to bridge the gap that exists between businesses run from home – mostly in the townships – and those operated from an established business environment,” says the City’s Director for Sustainable Employment Facilitation, Tsholo Mogotsi.

In addition to affordable office space, the expertise available at the hub will help emerging businesses to succeed in their fields. Where a specific service is not available at the hub, it will be sourced and brought in-house. “Through this ongoing renewal process, we provide our clients with a complete menu of services required to run a successful enterprise,” says Mogotsi.

Christopher Parkin, chief operations officer of The Business Place, says contracts have been signed with various service providers who have established help-desks at the venue to ensure that assistance is readily available to SMMEs.

One of the companies that has already moved to the office complex is KG Mashigo Attorneys, a firm of legal practitioners and conveyancers. “The Centre has provided us with space to grow,” says one of the firm’s partners, Lindiwe Ingwane.

“Your address and the environment in which you operate are vital to your ability to grow and attract business,” says Ingwane. At 58 Marshall Street, the City has now established this important address.