Coworking Impact on Local Retail

XC Creative Spaces Local Retail Pop Up

This is the first in a six-part series about the impact of coworking on local communities. We start the series with a focus on local retail by XC Creative Spaces, located in the historic Edgewood business district of Atlanta.

The revitalization of the historic Edgewood business corridor in Atlanta, GA has been a decades long project. Still, there remains a clash of two competing worlds. A world where a thriving economy is the answer to all that ails. And a world that no amount of investment dollars for facade improvements and startup costs could fix. 

Many coworking spaces in major cities are situated alongside trendy and culturally relevant retail shops juxtaposed with food pantries. And the members of those coworking spaces have an impact on the local economy. Ninety percent of our coworkers walk to nearby shops on fifty percent of the days they are in our community space. That represents a notable impact for establishments that are buzzing on the weekend, but are relatively quiet during the week. But more than the economic impact, coworking – particularly the person who chooses to coworking – adds a missing component that helps both the businesses and the people positioned outside of the mainstream economy. 

XC Creative Spaces CollaborationThat component is the spirit of collaboration. 

{Collaborate (v) : to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor Collaboration (n) (meriam-webster.com)}

Coworkers understand the necessity of working together to solve problems. 

Spotlight On Local Retailers

XC Creative Spaces Local Retail Pop UpDuring the holidays, we posted an Instagram story highlighting a few of the food and clothing retailers within walking distance of our community. Our purpose is to show how ideally we are situated and to build social capital with our neighbors. It established how important community was to us, and it cultivated what are now real relationships with two of the businesses near us. 

When one of our coworkers wanted to address the increased population of folks experiencing homelessness in our area, we had partners.  Together, we are answering the question,  “How can we secure housing, healing, and sustainable income for fifty people in our area?”  We’ve involved coworkers, business owners, and residents who care deeply. 

That collaborative spirit live inside and outside of our space and includes retailers. Who knows what business and social problems retailers in our area will come together to solve? Because of the connections we’ve made, they now have a model and a partner.