Resources For Small Businesses in St. Charles


[su_divider top=”no” size=”4″ margin=”45″]Emily Miller[/su_divider]

Cassie Kibens | LUTV
May 4, 2016 ; 3 p.m.

Small Business
Main Street is home to many different types of businesses.
Photo by Cassie Kibens

When opening a business in St. Charles future owners have different resources in order to get their business off the ground. A few of those resources include The Department of Economic Development and OPO Startups, which helps house growing businesses that do not want that brick and mortar space quite yet.

Travis Wilson, economic development coordinator for the Department of Economic Development in St. Charles, wants to help businesses get their feet off the ground.

“That’s really what we’re all about here,” Wilson said. “We’re about making sure that whatever obstacles might exist or whatever issues that there are, that we can help to resolve those and help people get their business off the ground.”

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OPO Startups offers a co-working space that can seat up to 40.
Photo by Cassie Kibens

The department has an online guide to help those businesses looking to set up shop in St. Charles. The guide features a step by step process explaining what businesses have to do before and after they open. Wilson said St. Charles is home to unique and historic buildings and shops, but still keeping an eye to what is next.

“We are also connecting with the future,” Wilson said.

Not all up and coming businesses want to open a brick and mortar shop, and OPO Startups on Main Street is providing a place for entrepreneurs to get the help they may need.

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OPO Startups hosts events each week for members and prospective members.
Photo by Cassie Kibens

“OPO Startups is what you call a co-working space,” Randy Schilling, Founder and Owner of OPO Startups, said. “What that means is we provide a community for folks that are looking to start a new business.”

OPO Startups provides 25 private officer and a co-working space that can seat up to 40. These spaces and offices do come ate different rates per month. OPO also offers a community room and internet to its members, and they join for a variety of reasons.

“It could be someone starting from scratch, and in other cases people have already started a business and they may be working out of their house or they are working out of a Starbucks and they need more of a community support,” Schilling said.

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Olivia Radle works in the Liviara office. She is the chief design officer.
Photo by Cassie Kibens

Olivia Radle, a 2015 Lindenwood University graduate, works in the Liviara office which rents space from OPO. Radle graduated with her MBA last May and had a different idea of what life would be like after college.

“I graduated with my fashion degree, so I was kind of prepared to go to New York and get people’s coffee for a couple years before I was taken seriously,” Radle said. “So this is great. I’m glad that I found this and I love being here.”