Subscribe to "Escondido Business Insight" for more stories like this delivered monthly to your inbox.

A Workspace for Today’s Entrepreneur

Months before the COVID-19 pandemic overtook the country, husband and wife team David and Natalie Williams opened LocalHub, a 12,000-square-foot coworking space located at 355 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025, in the heart of downtown Escondido. Its outdoor brick building is complemented by its indoor multi-level industrial chic design. Some of LocalHub’s amenities include a conference room, working spaces, flex seating, a multipurpose room for podcasting, interviews, photography, and multimedia, and even a kitchen prep area. Natalie added, “If you have a business interest, we can find a solution to meet it.”

LocalHub owners Natalie and David Williams

Coworking spaces have been popping up in cities across the nation, and even as the pandemic has forced people to temporarily stay and work at home, David and Natalie feel Escondido is ready for this type of workspace. David explained, “Natalie and I wanted to do this to really build community.”

Natalie agreed. “We really want to be a business magnet and bring more big-quality businesses here to Escondido.”

LocalHub gives small business owners, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers a space to work, conduct meetings, use shared resources, and collaborate with others. As a membership-based commitment, it helps this workforce keep a low overhead while enjoying many resources of a bigger office or corporation. 

“It alleviates business owners, entrepreneurs, and remote workers from having to look for a lease or lease a long-term building or space. It's a very slow commitment, most are 30 days. It allows for month-to-month growth to expand their team. They pay memberships as they add members,” said David.

As businesses grow, individual memberships can shift into various tiers of involvement. “Our members can become mentors, partners, and thought leaders within our network, and our hope is that partnerships form, not just with LocalHub but within the LocalHub community as well,” David said. 

He went on to explain some of the other advantages to co-working spaces. “It’s a great opportunity for people to have a place to work as a team, collectively as a community or individually. They work here with other people to interact with and grow their network and to even see what other people are doing and validate what they are doing themselves.” 

LocalHub is one of a handful of coworking spaces along the 78 Corridor that contribute to the success of local entrepreneurs and startups, as well as the community at large.

LocalHub provides its members with desks that can be moved in various formations

As a remote worker in the tech industry, David realizes both the appeal and necessity of these creative spaces. LocalHubs industry chic look with exposed fixtures, concrete floors and pops of color furnishings, give it a welcome feel.  “When you create spaces where you don’t have to work from a coffee shop or take a meeting from your home, it allows for a more professional atmosphere.” He added, “One of the biggest success factors is around the culture it creates. It’s a great place for people to have a place to work as a team, collectively, as a community or individually.” 

This type of atmosphere also allows for individuals and new businesses to grow their network. Networking is something David and Natalie promote in many ways at LocalHub. “We have networking events every month,” Natalie said, adding that through the stay-at-home order, they have been working virtually for those who cannot come into the space. “We really believe true networking is based on relationships.”

LocalHub's open floor plan includes a comfortable setting for lounging, meeting, or for guests

David agreed.“We are set up on relationships. One of the first questions we ask new members is, what can they bring to the community? This gives every member a buy in to the community. That is one of our core principles.” .

New businesses in Escondido that have already become members at LocalHub include:

LocalHub has been able to remain open during the pandemic because it is considered an essential business. Like other essential businesses that are open, the coworking space is following current COVID-19 guidelines. “We are in contact with the Mayor’s office, and we have set up restrictions so that we can adhere to those and the new guidelines,” Natalie said.  

This includes having limited numbers of members in the space at one time, keeping six foot separation, and cleaning all products after use. “Everybody is more than happy to adhere to these rules, because they want to come in to work.” 

For members who prefer to stay at home during this time, David and Natalie have set up a virtual office membership. These members will have access to LocalHub’s mailing service, community events, and web conferencing accounts for meetings. “Many people have been working from home right now so that has been our focus and has kept us busy,” David said. 

The WFH order bodes well with how the Williamses plan to expand their business. While they plan to open multiple locations, the virtual trial is setting a precedent for virtual expansion. “Our physical memberships could grow to 240 here at our Escondido location. We are also creating a virtual community on top of our physical location; I think with the capacity of the space, and a large community, it would really drive value for all our members and our city,” said David, who believes a virtual community could span a larger geographic area and could increase membership substantially. 

Meanwhile, Natalie is hopeful that once the stay-at-home orders begin to ease more, people will be eager to come back to creative environments like LocalHub. “There are going to be people who need a new space to have a meeting, make calls and work without the noise of their homes.”

The couple also sees Escondido as a prime location for new businesses. “I think Escondido is ripe for innovation,” said David. “It’s ready for this community boost that we are going to bring.”

The Williamses live and work in Escondido and are big supporters of the community. “I think we are in a city that is growing and developing into something new and special,” said David. “It’s a big community vibe that is walkable and full of family events. Businesses encourage this and invite people to hang out and experience the city.” 

Natalie agreed and believes LocalHub will blend in well with Escondido’s business environment while helping to encourage new businesses to reap these benefits as well. “For Escondido to thrive, we need strong businesses here, we need young entrepreneurs who just want to give back. The more high caliber we bring in, the more it’s going to impact our city.”

Updates on LocalHub can be found on Instagram and Facebook.

Subscribe to "Escondido Business Insight" for more stories like this delivered monthly to your inbox.