Our mission is to provide local small businesses, artisans, tradesmen, and makers with the utilitarian space they need.
Our long-term vision is to create a collaborative community that supports those who want to work with their hands - whether the goal is to express a creative side, learn a new skill or trade, or start a small business.
Today, more and more people are looking to work for themselves or a small business rather than a corporation. At the same time, the country is finally recognizing that it should not be funneling everyone towards a liberal arts education and a white-collar desk job - we are facing a critical shortage of blue-collar workers, tradesmen, and artisans.
However, it remains very difficult to start a small business that requires anything more than a laptop. One of the biggest hurdles is finding space. The traditional commercial leasing market - with its 5-year leases, inflexible spaces, complicated terms, and personal guaranties - is not set up to handle the rapidly-evolving needs of a new venture, or the uncertain position of an entrepreneur. Beyond the difficulty of finding the physical space itself, the risk inherent in signing a traditional commercial lease stops most new businesses before they ever get started.
For start-ups that just need office space, there are several options: from the simple home office in the spare bedroom, to the new co-working spaces that have begun popping up. The answer is not as easy, however, for those who need to use a table saw, fire up a forge, or plug in a soldering iron.
The goal of Clopton SiteWorks is to provide space for these kinds of activities. By enabling the growth of small businesses, we hope to help create new jobs and strengthen the growing Richmond community of makers and artisans.