NBC Channel 5 Reports

Lawmakers explore potential of co-working spaces for rural development: Senate committee hears testimony on bolstering rural growth around shared work spaces Full article and video reported by Ross Ketschke on MyNBC5 6:25 PM EST Feb 19, 2019: https://www.mynbc5.com/article/lawmakers-explore-potential-of-co-working-spaces-for-rural-development/26416856

BRADFORD, Vt. — Vermont lawmakers are exploring the potential for using co-work spaces as spark plugs for economic development in rural communities.

The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs hosted a hearing with co-work and makers space leaders from around the state in Bradford on Tuesday.

Senators heard testimony from local business leaders, entrepreneurs and directors of communal work spaces on their potential economic impact and ways the state could support growth they can potentially kick-start.

“It’s a place for people who are just moving to towns to know they have a community they can step into,” said Monique Priestley, founder of Bradford’s The Space on Main where the hearing was hosted.

Priestley’s co-working space opened its doors last fall and allows artists and entrepreneurs to rent out work space by the day or month.

The Space on Main, like other co-working or makers spaces, offers an array of tools for startups and artists including internet access and, in some cases, manufacturing equipment for designing product prototypes.

Priestley said the environment of co-working facilities is highly attractive to new business ventures looking to operate in collaborative spaces with other entrepreneurs.

“People see each other and overhear conversations and that’s sparking ideas or ways for them to collaborate with other people,” she said.

Director of the Center on Rural Innovation Matt Dunne said adapting the co-working space models for rural communities in Vermont would need some tweaking from their for-profit focused templates in startup hubs like Boston.

“It takes grassroots activities, frequently in a non-profit model but not necessarily. And it certainly takes support from the community and the state to make sure they succeed,” he said.

Dunne pointed to the lack of access to high-speed fiber optic internet access as an area the state could support and invest in to help attract new businesses to co-working spaces in Vermont.

The Center on Rural Innovation’s pilot campus in Springfield has taken advantage of the town’s unique access to high-speed fiber-optic connection.

However, not all communities have the infrastructure to support fiber connection, and Priestley said it is rarely affordable in places it is available.

She said her second largest expense behind monthly rent is paying for broadband.

“Broadband is the electricity of our time,” Dunne said.

Co-chair of the committee, Sen. Alison Clarkson (D) echoed their call for improved internet access in rural communities.

“We need to have the best high-speed in every downtown,” she said. “We also need it to every premise; to every home, to every business.”

Others who testified emphasized the need to support affordable-housing initiatives that bolster the communities surrounding co-working spaces.

Legislatures in Montpelier are reviewing multiple housing proposals this session, including a multi-million dollar housing revenue bond and housing rehabilitation incentive program.

NBC Channel 5 Reports

WEBVTT MODEL FOR SUCCESS. . MATT DUNNE, DIRECTOR OF CENTER OF RURAL INNOVATION “WE NEED TO BE PROACTIVE ABOUT IT AND MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE IN A PLACE WHERE NEW BUSINESSES CAN START BECAUSE ENTRAPANUERS OF TODAY ARE THE EMPLOYERS OF TOMORROW.” BUSINESS LEADERS FROM ACROSS VERMONT – MEETING WITH LAWMAKERS TO DISCUSS THE POTENTIAL OF CO-WORKING SPACES TO ACT AS A SPARK PLUG FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT. MONIQUE PRIESTLEY, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF SPACE ON MAIN “IT’S A PLACE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST MOVING INTO TOWNS TO KNOW THEY HAVE A COMMUNITY TO STEP INTO.” MONIQUE PRIESTLEY IS THE FOUNER OF THE SPACE ON MAIN… ONE OF DOZENS OF COMMUNAL WORK FACILITIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE THAT SHE SAYS HELPS FOSTER ENTRIPINUERHSI P BY BRINGING NEW BUSINESS VENTURES TOGETHER UNDER THE SAME ROOF. MONIQUE PRIESTLEY, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF SPACE ON MAIN “PEOPLE SEE EADCHOTHER AND HEARING COVERSATIONS AND THAT’S SPARKING IDEAS OR WAYS FOR THEM TO ENGAGE WITH OTHER PEOPLE. THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, HOUSING AND GENRAL AFFARS HEARD TESTAMONY ON THE COLLABORATIVE SPACES HAVE BEEN POPULAR IN START-UP HUBS LIKE BOSTON AND NEW YORK… AND DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER OF RURAL INNOVATION MATT DUNNE OF RURAL INNOVATION MATT DUNNE SAYS USING THEM TO JUMP START DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENTS IN VERMONT WILL TAKE A UNIQUE TOUCH. MATT DUNNE, DIRECTOR OF CENTER OF RURAL INNOVATION “IT TAKES GRASS- ROOTS ACTIVITIES, FREQUENTLY IN A NON-PROFIT MODEL BUT NOT ALWAYS NESSICARILY, AND SUPPORT FROM THE STATE AND THE COMMUNITY TO MAKE SURE THEY SUCCEED.” ONE KEY AREA HE POINTS TO FOR STATE ASSISTANCE IS SUPPORTING EFFORTS TO EXPAND HIGH- SPEED INTERNET. MATT DUNNE, DIRECTOR OF CENTER OF RURAL INNOVATION “BROADBAND IS THE ELECTRICITY OF OUR TIME. IT IS A NESSICARY PART TO BE ABLE TO PARTISCIPATE IN ECONOMIES ALL OVER THE GLOBE.” SEN. ALISON CLARKSON WINDSOR, VICE CHAIR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPEMTN, HOUSING, GENERAL AFFAIRS “WE NEED TO HAVE THE BEST HIGH- SPEED IN EVERY DOWNTOWN AND WE ALSO NEED IT IN EVERY PREMISE, IN EVERY HOME IN EVERY BUSINESS.” OTHER WHO TESTIFIED URGED THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT HOUSING INCENTIVES AND GRANT PROGRAMS TO HELP BOLSTER COMMUNITY GROWTH AROUND CO- WORKING SPACES. IN BRADFORD, ROSS KETSCHKE NBC 5 NEWS.

Chamber of Commerce Award

Founder & President of The Space On Main, Monique Priestley, was the recipient of this year’s Cohase Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. Here is the speech that she gave:

I want to share appreciation for everyone fighting all of the million little uphill battles. In their personal lives. Professional lives. And civically-engaged lives. Please don’t forget to share your stories. The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned over the course of the last year is that everything we are and everything we do is completely intertwined. And I think that a majority of people don’t reflect on that nearly enough. Many aren’t remotely aware of the world around them. How are we supposed to solve global issues if we don’t even realize the issues our neighbors are facing? Or sometimes, realize the issues affecting us internally?

I want to take a minute to share appreciation for everyone in the room who spends their evenings in meetings and their weekends volunteering, especially when they’re sometimes the only people that show up. We’ve all been in too many meetings to count where the questions on the table are, “Are we doing any good?” “Should we keep meeting?” “How do we get people to engage?” I heard this great quote at the Women’s March rally in Montpelier this past weekend. To paraphrase, “It’s important to be an activist, but the real work is in those 10,000 meetings for social change. That’s where the important stuff happens.” Thank you for going to the meetings.

I want to share appreciation for everyone who takes the time to listen to people. Who shares coffee with a kid with a business idea or a parent who is struggling. Who is never too busy to send that email introduction that can transform lives – even the ones that can’t. Who takes the time to review an application. Who shares their perspective willingly, and respectfully.

I personally believe that each of us has a responsibility to contribute everything we can to bettering society. Thank you for showing up, for doing the work, and for changing lives.

Thank you for changing my life. There are a lot of people in this room that have shared their time, energy, support, and story with me. You have written the emails and listened. You have opened doors for me. You have challenged my point of view and helped me grow. You have provided cheers. And hugs. Thank you for keeping me going. I promise to pay it forward.

Local, state, and national media has been amazingly supportive of our efforts. We keep our Press & Media Kit updated on a regular basis, but here are some highlights in case you missed them (from most recent to oldest).

• Cohase Chamber Announces Business and Citizen of the Year (Trendy Times, PDF | Page 1)
• The Space on Main Hopes to Connect Bradford Residents to Each Other and the World (DailyUV)
• Bradford space aims to bring independent workers together (WCAX News)
• Space on Main Founder Monique Priestley Cultivates Engagement in Bradford (Seven Days)
• Caledonian Record Business Watch November 10, 2018 (Caledonian Record)
• Worth Knowing: The Space on Main in Bradford is open and it’s pretty darn great (DailyUV)
• The Space Represents Bradford Commitment (Journal Opinion, PDF Pages 1,14)
• Downtown Hub Set to Open (Journal Opinion, PDF | Pages 1,12)
• Bernie’s Beat: Comments & Observations On Our Local Scene (Bridge Weekly, Archive | 8/26/18 | Pages 1,4,7,17) “Monique Priestley’s ‘The Space On Main’ is shaping up to be an important commerce generator for the area. A recent Cohase Chamber tour revelead an exciting entrepreneurial adventure ahead!”
• Someone You Should Know… Monique Priestley (Trendy Times, PDF | Page 9)
 Co-Working Space Aims to Boost Downtown Bradford (Valley News)

The Vermont Pass

The Space On Main is pleased to announce it has joined the Vermont Pass network. The Vermont Pass is a partnership between amazing coworking spaces across the state, created to benefit our members. This partnership allows members to use any of the following spaces: The Lightning Jar (Bennington lightningjarvt.com), The Space On Main (Bradford thespaceonmain.org), Hinge (Burlington hingeincvt.com), Local 64 (Montpelier local64.com), Stowe Office Share (Stowe stoweofficeshare.com), Valley.Works (Waitsfield valleyworksvt.org), and Optimist Center (Woodstock optimistcenter.com). When you become a member of the one of these spaces, you have the benefit of using any of the spaces when you travel. Get in touch with one of these wonderful Vermont coworking spaces to learn more!

About The Space On Main (thespaceonmain.org)

The Space On Main is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, philanthropic organizations, and businesses such as Copeland Furniture to provide their services. It is the mission of The Space on Main to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, the arts, education, health, and recreation in order to increase opportunity for personal and collective growth in the Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire by providing a creative facility with access to affordable equipment, work spaces, and classes. It is The Space On Main’s goal to ensure prosperity of our community by leveraging talent in the region by creating pathways to outside individuals, services, and technologies.

About Vermont Pass (vermontpass.org)

The Vermont Pass is a partnership between amazing coworking spaces across the state created to benefit our members. Visit vermontpass.org to learn more about our coworking partners.

Monique Priestley Ribbon Cutting

Did you miss the Ribbon Cutting? Don’t worry! We have you covered with the help of Bob Farnham! You can find Monique’s speech below.

For those of you who thought you should show up, but still don’t understand what the heck this is – thank you for being open and curious. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The Space On Main is a nonprofit center for people to create. To Experiment. To share their passions. To learn. To have fun! To enjoy work again. And most importantly, to connect to the amazing people that are just outside of their current circle.

There’s a lot of suck going on right now. If all you experience, every day is your daily routine piled with whatever depressing information major media dumps on you, you’re going to feel it. People are losing their sense of community and their ability to connect with it. It’s in that community that you experience the hope, beauty, and energy of being part of a bigger thing. Of humanity. Of being alive.

And that’s the true goal of The Space. To facilitate community connections. To give you a spot to teach that skill that you’ve always wanted to share. To give you an outlet to display your talents. To learn from your neighbor. To get out of your PJs, off of your couch, and to work next to those other 100 people who are telecommuting for jobs elsewhere around the world. To share coffee. And Wifi.

Every person here today has had a hand in making this happen. And I can’t thank you enough. When Hill’s and Perry’s went out of business, the town felt this hard. Every meeting I went to was covered in a sadness that I and others really weren’t sure we’d recover from. I personally started thinking that I should move back to Seattle where my full-time office is located. I had shared the dream of a community-focused building with most of my closest friends and mentors for years, but it was usually tossed up as a pipe dream. I myself considered it a retirement dream. Then at a Bradford Business Association social, Marvin told me it was time to share it with Angela. I did. Right then. Almost exactly two years later, here we are.

Because of each of you. Some of you played particularly key roles, which I would like to highlight here today. The first two couldn’t be here today as they passed within this last year.

Carol Priestley. Who volunteered tirelessly and always brought us along. To church, school, library reading programs, Memorial Day parades, and every other thing that she could coordinate or help with. She taught me the value of giving back, even when you can barely afford to stay afloat. And she taught the love and commitment that comes from the sense of belonging to your community. The Village of Piermont raised me, because everyone was always chipping in to be a part of something bigger than themselves (and taking care of me in so many ways).

Hellen Darion. Who passed on her 103rd birthday. She was spunky, critical, and found wonderment in every aspect of life. I got to know Hellen by giving her computer lessons, which eventually turned into being her Google-searching partner. Over the course of 8 years, we looked up everything. We’d often take times just to talk and reflect over whatever came to mind. Hellen’s constant question was, “Do you feel like you’re doing the most you can do?” I’d often reply, “I want to do something bigger, but I don’t know how yet.” And then she’d tell me she wanted to kick me and to figure it out. She drove me.

Nancy Jones. You all tease the heck out of me for being on so many boards. You can thank Nancy for that. My entry ask was Bradford Conservation Commission. 9 years ago. She asked me to serve. She gave me that first sense of being a part of serving something on behalf of myself. She took me to countless association annual meetings and dinners and I was always happy to go. I didn’t really understand how powerful that was until just recently. She is a mentor, a friend, and a powerful woman role-model.

Marvin Harrison. He’s responsible for me being on another handful of boards. He has a way of telling people to ask me to serve, and then tells me I’m doing too much. He’s my go-to. The one I email way too many times a day to ask how to approach situations and people. The most respected person in any room. The wise-cracker. A friend and mentor. I’m going to steal his words for a minute – “My hero”.

Donna Williams. Who’s been a mom to me since high school. My best friend. She poses hard questions and inspires me. She keeps me grounded, supports me, and even when I have crazy ideas, she’ll do things like provide the IRS application fee for a nonprofit startup.

Ryan Lockwood. My partner in life, love, laughter. You should probably all give him a hug. He’s the one who laughs when I run around the house bouncing after an exciting meeting. He’s the one who comforts me when I’m so frustrated in the world that I can’t do anything except cry. He’s the one who encourages me when I’m doubting myself the most. Who does things like stay at The Space working all day and night to get it ready without once saying he’d rather be anywhere else.

Vin and Angela Wendell. They probably thought they were crazy 1000 times throughout this. I thought they were crazy. I appreciate everything they’ve done, but more importantly, I respect them so much. I know they want this just as much as I do. I can’t even begin to express what this means to me and to the community – once they understand what this is.

My board members. A team of my closest friends from both coasts. But not just close friends. The most intelligent people I know who would have my back in life and business. But also a team of my most trusted and respected friends who I knew would keep me in check, call me out, and make me stop to think things through.

And now everyone else. The hundreds of people who have provided an ear. Encouragement. Excitement. Their life stories in a coffee shop or at their dining tables. Who let me in and shared their passions. Who shared their frustrations. And their dreams. And their address book. And their monetary support. Holy crap you guys. This whole thing has blown me away, inspired me, challenged me, taught me, and given me hope.

We made a thing together. And I’ll never be able to express how much that means.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Bradford, VT 9/23/2018 – The Space On Main will be joined by Ted Brady (Deputy Secretary, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development), Samantha Sheehan (Owner & Executive Director of Valley.Works & Communications Manager of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility), and Erik Volk (Executive Director of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce) to commemorate the opening of its Main Street location with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Bradford. The dedication will take place on Friday, October 12th at 11:00am. Launch party tickets can be purchased for 6:30pm that night featuring food catered by Colatina Exit and music by DJ ShaR4.

The Space is a new nonprofit community-based coworking, maker, and gathering space fostering entrepreneurship, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. The Space On Main, Inc. was founded in July 2017 and will be leasing the former Hill’s 5 & 10 building. Vin and Angela Wendell, of Colatina Exit, own the building and have completely renovated every aspect, totalling over $500,000. The Space On Main team has fundraised nearly $100,000 in the last 9 months to cover equipment, furniture, and build-out costs specific to its offerings.

It is the mission of The Space on Main to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, the arts, education, health, and recreation in order to increase opportunity for personal and collective growth in the Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire by providing a creative facility with access to affordable equipment, work spaces, and classes. It is The Space On Main’s goal to ensure prosperity of the community by leveraging talent in the region by creating pathways to outside individuals, services, and technologies.

The Space On Main’s startup funds have come from grants and donations by Vermont Community Fund, Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation, Couch Family Foundation, Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, Odell Insurance Agency, Co-operative Insurance Companies, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, Wells River Savings Bank, Copeland Furniture, Community Bank, All-Access Infotech, Alarmco, and amazing community members.

To sign up for membership, reserve space for events, provide monetary support, or for more information, visit www.thespaceonmain.org.

Copeland Furniture Thumbnail

The Space On Main is pleased to announce it has received a $10,000 furniture donation from Copeland Furniture. This donation will provide much needed support The Space On Main during its startup phase and for years to come.

The Space On Main is currently working to complete the rehabilitation and conversion of a much-loved historic building on Main Street in Bradford, Vermont that once held a “five and dime” store into a modern multipurpose community facility providing rooms of varying sizes and purposes designed to host coworking (office sharing), community networking events, hands-on Maker projects, conferences, meetings, training programs, social events, as well as educational classes for all demographics. Monique Priestley, President & Founder of The Space On Main said: “I started my research for what would soon be known as The Space by visiting with community members in local coffee shops, restaurants, workshops, and at their dining tables. People move here to get away from the city, for work, for a spouse’s work, or to help family. They are nervous about living here. They are struggling with slow internet speeds, a lack of networking opportunities, and a feeling of being disconnected. The Space will address these needs, fill our Main Street gap, and weave a network of partnerships throughout the region. This would not be possible without the incredible support of amazing people like Tim and Jenny Copeland.”

Tim Copeland, President of Copeland Furniture, in announcing the gift said: “Small town Main Streets all over the country have been in decline for many years. The exceptions are often towns were a civic minded group or an individual has had the vision and perseverance to step out and create something new. Jenny and I are betting that Monique’s Space On Main is a spark that brings new energy on Main Street, Bradford. We are pleased to play a small part in helping it happen.”

About The Space On Main (thespaceonmain.org)
The Space On Main is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, philanthropic organizations, and businesses such as Copeland Furniture to provide their services. It is the mission of The Space on Main to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, the arts, education, health, and recreation in order to increase opportunity for personal and collective growth in the Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire by providing a creative facility with access to affordable equipment, work spaces, and classes. It is The Space On Main’s goal to ensure prosperity of our community by leveraging talent in the region by creating pathways to outside individuals, services, and technologies.

About Copeland Furniture (copelandfurniture.com)
Copeland Furniture has been producing wood products and furniture since 1976. They have gradually grown over the years from a one man shop to the largest employer in our small town of Bradford, Vermont. They remain a family owned and operated business committed to manufacturing high quality products in America.

For more information, please contact The Space On Main at (802) 449-MAIN (6246) or on the web at thespaceonmain.org.

Vermont Community Foundation

The Space On Main is pleased to announce it has received an $8,000 grant from Arthur L. & Frances P. Hyde Fund (via Vermont Community Foundation). This donation has enabled The Space On Main to move ahead with buildout and construction of its future home which serves to ensure prosperity of Bradford and the greater Cohase Region.

The Space On Main is currently working to complete the rehabilitation and conversion of a much-loved historic building on Main Street in Bradford, Vermont that once held a “five and dime” store into a modern multipurpose community facility providing rooms of varying sizes and purposes designed to host coworking (office sharing), community networking events, hands-on Maker projects, conferences, meetings, training programs, social events, as well as educational classes for all demographics. Monique Priestley, President & Founder of The Space On Main said: “I started my research for what would soon be known as The Space by visiting with community members in local coffee shops, restaurants, workshops, and at their dining tables. People move here to get away from the city, for work, for a spouse’s work, or to help family. They are nervous about living here. They are struggling with slow internet speeds, a lack of networking opportunities, and a feeling of being disconnected. The Space will address these needs, fill our Main Street gap, and weave a network of partnerships throughout the region. The opening of The Space would not have been possible without the Arthur L. & Frances P. Hyde Fund’s support.”

About The Space On Main (thespaceonmain.org)
The Space On Main is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, philanthropic organizations, and businesses such as the Arthur L. & Frances P. Hyde Fund to provide their services. It is the mission of The Space on Main to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, the arts, education, health, and recreation in order to increase opportunity for personal and collective growth in the Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire by providing a creative facility with access to affordable equipment, work spaces, and classes. It is The Space On Main’s goal to ensure prosperity of our community by leveraging talent in the region by creating pathways to outside individuals, services, and technologies.

For more information, please contact The Space On Main at (802) 449-MAIN (6246) or on the web at thespaceonmain.org.

Vermont Community Foundation

The Space On Main is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 opportunity grant from Vermont Community Foundation. This donation has enabled The Space On Main to move ahead with buildout and construction of its future home which serves to ensure prosperity of Bradford and the greater Cohase Region.

The Space On Main is currently working to complete the rehabilitation and conversion of a much-loved historic building on Main Street in Bradford, Vermont that once held a “five and dime” store into a modern multipurpose community facility providing rooms of varying sizes and purposes designed to host coworking (office sharing), community networking events, hands-on Maker projects, conferences, meetings, training programs, social events, as well as educational classes for all demographics. Monique Priestley, President & Founder of The Space On Main said: “I started my research for what would soon be known as The Space by visiting with community members in local coffee shops, restaurants, workshops, and at their dining tables. People move here to get away from the city, for work, for a spouse’s work, or to help family. They are nervous about living here. They are struggling with slow internet speeds, a lack of networking opportunities, and a feeling of being disconnected. The Space will address these needs, fill our Main Street gap, and weave a network of partnerships throughout the region. The opening of The Space would not have been possible without Vermont Community Foundation’s support.”

The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love. The heart of the Vermont Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. They are aligning our time, energy, and discretionary resources on efforts that provide access to early care and learning, pathways to college and career training, support for youth and families, and community and economic vitality. They envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future.

About The Space On Main (thespaceonmain.org)
The Space On Main is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, philanthropic organizations, and businesses such as Vermont Community Foundation to provide their services. It is the mission of The Space on Main to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, the arts, education, health, and recreation in order to increase opportunity for personal and collective growth in the Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire by providing a creative facility with access to affordable equipment, work spaces, and classes. It is The Space On Main’s goal to ensure prosperity of our community by leveraging talent in the region by creating pathways to outside individuals, services, and technologies.

About Vermont Community Foundation (vermontcf.org)
The Vermont Community Foundation was established in 1986 as a permanent source of support for the state. They are a family of hundreds of funds and foundations created by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. We provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make your giving easy and inspiring. Together, their funds and programs provide more than $12 million a year in grants in Vermont and beyond.

For more information, please contact The Space On Main at (802) 449-MAIN (6246) or on the web at thespaceonmain.org.

The Space On Main is pleased to announce it has received a $3,000 donation from Wells River Savings Bank to be paid in $1,000 payments over the next three years. This donation will be used for buildout and construction of The Space On Main’s future home which serves to ensure prosperity of Bradford and the greater Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire.

The Space On Main is currently working to complete the rehabilitation and conversion of a much-loved historic building on Main Street in Bradford, Vermont that once held a “five and dime” store into a modern multipurpose community facility providing rooms of varying sizes and purposes designed to host coworking (office sharing), community networking events, hands-on Maker projects, conferences, meetings, training programs, social events, as well as educational classes for all demographics. Monique Priestley, President & Founder of The Space On Main said: “I started my research for what would soon be known as The Space by visiting with community members in local coffee shops, restaurants, workshops, and at their dining tables. People move here to get away from the city, for work, for a spouse’s work, or to help family. They are nervous about living here. They are struggling with slow internet speeds, a lack of networking opportunities, and a feeling of being disconnected. The Space will address these needs, fill our Main Street gap, and weave a network of partnerships throughout the region. The opening of The Space will not be possible without the support of amazing organizations such as Wells River Savings Bank.”

Frank Tilghman, CEO of Wells River Savings Bank wrote: “We are very impressed with the idea of Space on Main, Inc. It is the perfect approach to the revitalization of our villages. Hopefully, we can inspire our other villages to offer the same facilities and vision. Our area needs an economic jolt, and Space on Main will deliver. We are proud to pledge $3,000, with $1,000 for this year, and $1,000 each for the next two years. Again, we applaud your efforts at community development.”

About The Space On Main (thespaceonmain.org)
The Space On Main is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, philanthropic organizations, and businesses such as Wells River Savings Bank to provide their services. It is the mission of The Space on Main to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, the arts, education, health, and recreation in order to increase opportunity for personal and collective growth in the Cohase Region of Vermont and New Hampshire by providing a creative facility with access to affordable equipment, work spaces, and classes. It is The Space On Main’s goal to ensure prosperity of our community by leveraging talent in the region by creating pathways to outside individuals, services, and technologies.

About Wells River Savings Bank (wellsriversavings.com)
In 1988, Wells River Savings Bank opened its first branch office, in Bradford. It continued south, with a new office in Fairlee in 1999, Newbury in 2006, and East Thetford in 2008. It is proud of its mutual bank heritage. It is owned by its depositors, so its profits stay here to help build its communities. Its mission remains consistent with the vision of its founders in 1833 and 1892, to make its communities better places to live, work, and raise families.

For more information, please contact The Space On Main at (802) 449-MAIN (6246) or on the web at thespaceonmain.org.