BARSTOW• Once a flourishing railway hub, restaurant and hotel, the historic Harvey House is now a host to several local businesses and organizations.
"You have either a registered small business that already knows about the hub zone or local people decide, 'well this might be my opportunity' because your overhead is so much less here than what it would be starting out in the general economy," said Carol Randall, property manager of the Harvey House.
Randall believes the historic location, low rent and amenities like a conference room, kitchen and front desk concierge make the Harvey House business portal an ideal location for a startup.
"I think now more than ever, incubation is important," she said. "Everybody is dialing down. Our goal is to get them in, get them satisfied and get them going."
Paul Courtney, owner of PACE Janitorial Services, said he loves his business space at the Harvey House.
"It's very recognizable, people know it and when people come in they love it," he said.
The Harvey House is also home to the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce, Barstow Association of Realtors, Oasis Realty, Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate, Barstow Industrial Services, San Bernardino County Workforce Development, Federal Aviation Administration and two military contractors.
The building was first made available to businesses in 2010 after it was newly renovated, according to Randall, who added that all of the business portal spaces are currently rented out.
"The Chamber has long wanted to be in the Harvey House for its unique historic building and because it's a popular place for tourists," Joseph Hisquierdo, spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce, said. "That for me makes it a prime location."
Hisquierdo said the Chamber also enjoys being able to showcase local businesses there.
"It's a win-win for the Chamber, the city and the businesses that are in the building because they capture the benefits of the hub zone and enterprise zone," he said.
The Western America Railroad Museum and Barstow Route 66 "Mother Road" Museum are also located on the east and north sides of the building and attract international visitors.
The business portal offices are small — 1,000 or 1,500 square feet — but they give small businesses a stepping-off point. She said she's seen four business grow out of those small spaces.
"A nice thing is to see them grow up and leave," she said.
Contact Brooke Self at email@example.com and (760) 256-4123.