Start-up businesses now have the choice to rent office space when they need it, rather than locking themselves into long-term contracts.

The Hedland Business Centre built by developer Macro Realty, which opened in August, will allow businesses and visiting professionals to rent office and boardroom spaces, as well as access secretarial, internet, video conferencing, scanning and other services.

Macro Realty owner Renee Smith said the centre acted like a business incubator by allowing businesses to pay only for what they used.

“As a (new) business you need to keep your costs down and so the business centre is a low-risk — because you can do it on an hourly basis — and low-cost solution,” she said.

“You might use (the centre’s services) 20 hours this month, but only three hours next month, it is all scalable and adjustable.”

The centre’s opening comes as commercial rents in Hedland remain prohibitively high for many start-up businesses.

Ms Smith said she hit on the idea for the centre after being shocked by the rents when setting up a new Macro Realty office in town.

She also said a survey by Macro Realty found small businesses and individuals had been forced to pitch for contracts and take part in telephone meetings from their “cars because there was nowhere (else) for them to go”.

She said, by contrast, her centre allowed business people to access corporate facilities from prices ranging from $15 an hour through to monthly packages that could include everything from mail collection to secretarial services.

In addition to local businesses, demand for the services was also already coming from lawyers, accountants and engineers flying in from Perth on business trips.

“I even had a lawyer from Sydney that used our services,” Ms Smith said.

The next step is to expand to Newman, where Macro Realty hopes to open a business centre late next year.

Ms Smith said the centre could play an important role in helping Hedland and Newman become sustainable cities.

“If what is stopping (new businesses from starting in the Pilbara is the cost of) having an office presence, then we can be part of the solution,” she said.

© North West Telegraph

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