Richard Flader and Darrel Couzens of Sidney’s Flader Business Centre. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Shared space: Sidney’s Flader Business Centre

BUSINESS PROFILES 2017: Best New Business award winner

The Peninsula News Review’s Business Profiles edition hits the streets on Nov. 8. This is one of four stories coming out this week from that special publication.

As businesses grow, they look to spread their wings a little — or a lot.

In the case of a pair of Sidney entrepreneurs, they combined forces to not only find downtown space for their home-based businesses —but they created another, new business altogether.

During a chance meeting on a ferry trip, Richard Flader and Darrel Couzens discovered they had similar needs: their respective businesses needed to grow. To do that, they needed better visibility and more room. After searching for space for months, a building at the corner of James White Boulevard and Seventh Street became available. So they bought it last December and retained one of its long-time tenants, the Garry Oak Vet Clinic.

The rest of the space, they renovated and redesigned, and renamed it as the Flader Business Centre, which opened in March 2017.

Offering office and boardroom space to small businesses in similar situations to their own, the six units they had available were spoken for even before they officially opened.

“That, was pretty surprising,” Flader said, adding they now have a wait list.

The concept, he continued, is to have each tenant contribute to the operating costs of the building and to supplement that by renting out the boardroom space to small companies that need a room with access to high-tech services.

“Our objective was to get a quality space for our own businesses and share it with others to make it more affordable for everyone.”

In addition, Flader said there’s been an added benefit of collaboration between the business owners who have space there. Case in point, Uta Nagel, a designer, put together the Centre’s look, turning a dark space into something elegant and cozy.

“We have a passion for collaboration,” added Couzens, “on both small and mass scales.”

The Flader Business Centre’s success was recently shared with the Saanich Peninsula Business community, as they were awarded Best New Business in the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s annual Crystal Awards.

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