CenterFuse, a co-work space and small business incubator located in Historic Downtown Manassas, took home top honors in the Outstanding Business of the Year category at the recent Virginia Main Street (VMS) Conference in Harrisonburg, VA. CenterFuse is a cooperative/collaborative workspace that offers professional services and support to start-up businesses and emerging ventures. It also serves as office space for telecommuters or small businesses that prefer a full-service working environment in lieu of fast food restaurants and coffee houses.
CenterFuse was founded by the principals of ECU Communications and Whitlock Wealth Management as a for-profit venture. The City of Manassas provided an economic development grant to offset initial startup costs because of the economic benefit that comes from having an entrepreneurial center in Downtown. Historic Manassas Inc., the City’s Virginia Main Street program, manages the space in keeping with the non-profit’s goal of promoting economic vitality. All three public/private partners see the co-work space as an opportunity to promote an entrepreneurial culture and to home grow small businesses throughout the Greater Manassas region. This unique partnership is a large part of what led to the award and recognition by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as being the best-in-class Business of the Year.
The award was presented by Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Cassidy Rasnick, and DHCD Director Erik Johnston. ECU’s Ken Krick, Whitlock Wealth Management’s Bennett Whitlock, Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small and Historic Manassas, Inc.’s (HMI) Executive Director Debbie Haight attended the luncheon to receive the award.
CenterFuse has long and short-term space rental available as well as day passes for the occasional user. The range of services includes access to business equipment, conference space with audio/visual capability, a receptionist, mail boxes and a free coffee bar and kitchenette. One of the most appealing features of CenterFuse is its location near the VRE station and the bustling activity of the nearby restaurants and shops in Historic Downtown Manassas.