Small Biz Incubator MECFairfax Expands Counseling Programs, Office Space
MECFairfax offers help for new and small business owners looking to succeed.
A small business incubator in downtown Fairfax recently underwent a facelift to address growing needs and the changing face of business in the area.
The Mason Enterprise Center's Fairfax location on University Drive reopened in November to the delight of over 250 event attendees, including Mayor Scott Silverthorne and George Mason University President Angel Cabrera.
GMU-based MEC exists to provide new and small business owners with the information and coaching needed to grow a local, successful business endeavour. The Fairfax center has helped over 300 businesses with its incubation program since its inception.
Started in 1995, the small business development center grew from a couple of client offices to four floors in the 4031 University building and an array of expanded development programs for small businesses looking to succeed. The MECFairfax is sponsored by the City of Fairfax Economic Development Authority.
MECFairfax offers mentoring and office space for entrepreneurs looking to start their own business in the Northern Virginia area.
"Typically an entrepreneur will come to us with a business idea, looking for help to grow and succeed," MECFairfax Director Judy Barral said. "We set them up with one-on-one counseling appointments with different experts in their fields, all volunteers here at the center."
Business counseling is free.
"We are not in the commercial real estate business," Barral said. "Our mandate is to grow businesses and thus the economy."
It also provides physical office space for new businesses. The renovated 29,000 square foot facility provides 11 conference rooms, 79 offices as well as cafe and break areas to renters.
The fully furnished offices include Internet access, a receptionist, mail delivery, phone line, answering service and access to conference rooms, among other necessities, Barral said. Small interior offices start at $450 while larger corner offices rent for about $2,100.
Business owners can also rent conference rooms for a four-hour time slot ($50). The large conference center, which seats 50 people, goes for $1,300 a day.
Want to learn more? Check out the MEC website here.