Category: Uncategorized

Spring Time at Sierra Commons – A message from our Executive Director

Spring time at Sierra Commons is one of my favorite times of the year.  We always have new folks coming into the building, old members rejoining after the winter, and the buzz of renewed energy and new ideas around the water cooler.  (Yes, we actually have a water cooler.)

Looking out the windows, one can see that the tire swings and the picnic tables are dappled with sunlight. Many of the members step out of the office and take to the campus to enjoy working outdoors.  We have several outdoor working opportunities and our high speed internet and wi-fi is powerful enough to reach our patios and outdoor tables.

Sierra Commons is getting ready to start our thirteen Business Ignitor course and the spirit of collaboration is in the air. More than once I have seen an incredible idea talked about in the spring become a business venture or partnership by summer. This is the time when great ideas take off.

Soon, we will be having lunches and potlucks on the patio. If you have ever thought about enrolling in the Business Ignitor or joining a coworking space, now is the time to get in on the action.  Join this collaborative and fun community.

Are you looking for coworking in Nevada City? High speed internet in Nevada County? Just a really great place to work?

Sierra Commons is Nevada County’s best coworking space. We have some of the best and brightest of Nevada County under our roof. Nevada County’s remote workers and freelancers work at Sierra Commons.  We house Software Engineers, Film Makers, Journalists, Writers, Lobbyists, Copy Editors, Small Business Owners, and more.  Sierra Commons has been a staple of the Nevada County community for 7 years. In 1999, when founded, we were one of the first rural coworking spaces in all of the United States. Now we have partnerships all over Northern California and in the Tahoe/Truckee area.


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We are the destination for weekenders from the Bay Area and Sacramento and we offer tourists and locals drop-in rates, day use, high-speed internet, and a fun place to work. Enjoy our beautiful summer patio. Come for the high-speed internet and stay for the community.

We are located in Nevada City on Searls Avenue.  We are next to Wild Mountain Yoga and we are central to Three Forks Bakery and Brewery, Matteo’s Public, Lefty’s Grill, the National Hotel, Broad Street Inn and the Inn Town Campground.

We have expanded our Business Ignitor course from 6 weeks to 8 weeks and registration is now open! Classes start on February 4th and will be held for eight weeks on Thursday nights from 6pm-9pm.

 

In our new Business Ignitor we will include a class on crowd funding and give further information on marketing and finding your ideal client.  The class covers a wide variety of topics and is suitable for both people who are looking to start a business or solo venture and for those who are currently running a small business.

The economy has changed a lot in the last five years since we started offering our Business Ignitor, Nevada County’s premier start-up incubator.  We are excited to expand our curriculum and to offer our community access to the latest and cutting-edge concepts in business and entrepreneurship.

According to a study done by Bloomberg Business, just over 80% of all new businesses are out of business within twelve months.  That means 8 out of 10 new business fail within the first year.  In the last quarter of 2015, more than 100 new fictitious business names were filed in Nevada County.

Sierra Commons, Nevada County’s non-profit business education center and coworking space, has helped start-ups in Nevada County succeed with their Business Ignitor course.  We have a proven track record in Nevada County.  More than 65% of Business Ignitor graduates are still in business after their first year.

Sierra Commons has been a resource for small businesses in Nevada County for over six years and understands the unique and diverse economy of the Sierra Foothills.  Past Ignitor graduates have gone on to start and manage effective businesses in a variety of industries.  Sierra Commons has helped to start successful restaurants, cottage food companies, online marketing businesses, clothing companies, design services, and more.

The per-student fee is $450 and class registration is open now.  Scholarships may be available to qualifying individuals.  If you would like to sign up for the Business Ignitor or learn more, visit the Sierra Commons website at www.sierracommons.org or call 530-265-8443.

Sierra Commons Celebrates Their 100th Ignitor Graduate, Invites the Public to a Business Mixer

Sierra Commons, Nevada County’s coworking space and business education center, invites the public to celebrate small business in Nevada County. Sierra Commons just finished teaching its 9th Business Ignitor, an intensive incubator for small businesses and start-ups in Nevada County. To celebrate, Sierra Commons is hosting a free business mixer and celebration on Thursday July 30th at 5:30pm. Join in the fun at the Sierra Commons campus at 792 A Searls Ave in Nevada City. Food and drink will be available.

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Sierra Commons has been teaching their “Business Ignitor” for five years and has taught over 100 students. The graduation of this Business Ignitor class will mark over 100 students who have completed the course. Past graduates include local business owners Erin Noel of Community Legal, Rowen White of Sierra Seeds, and Shana Maziarz of Three Forks Bakery and Brewery. The current graduating class is diverse and includes an enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs, business owners, artists, and managers. Sierra Commons has been contributing to the economic health of Nevada County and supporting small business locally for six years.

“Sierra Commons provides invaluable services to new and existing businesses,” says student and coworker Evelyn Soltero of All About Wells. “Formal classes on business operations are user friendly and truly inspiring. My favorite thing about Sierra Commons is the comradery and the collegial support I receive from other members.” Sierra Commons offers a supportive environment for independent contractors, small business owners, freelancers, and anyone who is seeking to have a community-supported work environment or a community-supported business.

Erin Noel, founder of Community Legal, is an attorney who graduated from the Business Ignitor program in 2013. She says of her venture, “Community Legal is a proud “Business Ignitor” project, dedicated to supporting the legal needs of disadvantaged people in Nevada County. Like the Business Ignitor course, we believe in people’s capacity to contribute to our economy and community. We help to provide clients with education and know-how.” After three years of development, Community Legal plans to open in August, and is currently engaged in a crowd funding campaign to give the venture a strong foundation.

Sierra Commons is excited to host a celebration of small business in Nevada County. “This event is designed to bring together small business, big business, new business, and established business in Nevada County,” says Hilary Hodge, Executive Director of Sierra Commons. “Nevada County is known for its innovation and for its support of local business. Our goal is to see businesses in Nevada County continue to thrive and we know that coming together as a community is essential to that mission.”

Sierra Commons will be celebrating its sixth year of community support this August and holds an open door to all skill levels. They house a vast range of business professionals in their coworking facility. Sierra Commons is currently enrolling for their next Business Ignitor course which will be offered in September of this year. Sierra Commons offers coworking space, conference room rental, high-speed internet, business classes, business mentoring, and daily or drop-in rates. For more information visit www.sierracommons.org or email info@sierracommons.org.

Sierra Commons, along with their sponsors, will be putting on the community’s most exciting Oscar® pre-party.  The party starts at 3pm on February 22nd and will include red carpet interviews hosted by KNCO, limousine rides from the parking lot to the front door, a paparazzi entourage, along with appetizers and a silent auction benefiting Sierra Commons.  The party and fundraiser will run from 3pm-5:30pm and a live broadcast of the Academy Awards® will follow at the same location.

Tickets for the Pre-Party and Limo rides can be purchased by going into Sierra Commons at 792 Searls Ave in Nevada City or on the web at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/oscar-night-pre-party-tickets-15632112068

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For for information call Sierra Commons at: 530-265-8443 or email: info@sierracommons.org

Sierra Commons is working with the City of Nevada City to implement a Community Development Block Grant.  You may qualify for grants or loans.
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In addition to offering our signature Ignitor Classes, Sierra Commons is working with The City of Nevada City to help implement a Community Development Block Grant. Classes are available for qualifying sole proprietors and small business owners who are hoping to be eligible for grant money and/or business loans through the City of Nevada City. You must complete the classes in order to qualify for the grants or loans. The money can be used for furniture, fixtures, inventory, equipment and more! The classes are designed to make participants ready for the application process to obtain the grants and loans. Some restrictions apply. For more information call SierraCommons at (530) 265-8443.

 

A Message from the Executive Director

I like resolutions but I think that they should be made more than once per year.  I believe in consistency and renewal.  Life isn’t easy.  Even the best laid plans can be thrown off course.  That’s why I value the Sierra Commons community.

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Sierra Commons offers a consistency in a world full of ups and downs.  Sierra Commons is group of people who care about each other and who support each other.  Some of us are freelancers.  Some of us are remote workers employed by companies who let us stay in the community we love.  Some of us are just starting out, trying new ideas, establishing effective businesses that we are passionate about.  Where ever you are at in your creative and/or professional life, there is a place for you at Sierra Commons.

Maybe you’d like to take a few classes.  Maybe you’d like to teach a few classes.  Maybe you just need a nice place to work away from home.   Maybe you’ve hit a wall in your professional life and you’d like some advice. Maybe your power went out and you need reliable high-speed internet and a hot cup of coffee for the day. Sierra Commons has got you covered.

Whatever you’ve resolved to do this year, check out Sierra Commons.  We can probably help.  If you are seeking balance, Sierra Commons can provide a great work-life balance by giving you a place to focus.  If you want to learn a new skill, check out our class schedule.  Even if you are trying to have a healthier, fitter lifestyle, the Sierra Commons office is conveniently located right down the street from the South Yuba Athletic Club, Fit Culture, and Wild Mountain Yoga in Nevada City.

Whatever you do in 2015, get the support you deserve.  Make Sierra Commons a part of your life.  We’re here for our community.

Eligibility 
All contest entries made to Sierra Commons via social media in response to the January 2015 library display, are included in the drawings. The drawings are open to U.S. citizens residing in the 50 states of the U.S. or District of Columbia. Entrants must be 18 or older or have a designated guardian to claim the prize. All current Sustaining Members of Sierra Commons are automatically included. This contest is sponsored by Sierra Commons. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void wherever prohibited or restricted by law. Taxes are the responsibility of the winner(s). Winner(s) must complete a W9 form prior to claiming prize(s).

How to Enter 
No purchase or contribution is necessary. You may enter this contest by liking Sierra Commons on Facebook, by posting a picture of Sierra commons with the #sierracommons, by emailing info@sierracommons.org or be mail to Sierra Commons, 792A Searls Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959. Mail-in entries must include your full name, complete mailing address, phone number with area code, and an email address. No other method of entry will be accepted. Mail-in entries must be received no later than two days prior to the prize drawing. Contest begins January 2nd and ends on January 31st, 2015. All drawings will be held on February 4th.  Exact times and dates of drawings within that time period are subject to change. Limit two entries per person. Incomplete entries are void.

Selection of Winner(s) 
Winner(s) will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received by the deadline dates above. Prize drawing will be conducted by Sierra Commons. Winner(s) will be announced on our Facebook page. Winner(s) need not be present to win. Winner(s) may be notified electronically, by telephone and/or be email within 24 hours of drawing. Every reasonable attempt will be made to award the prize. If after every reasonable effort has been exerted (three (3) attempts over 30 days) to award the prize but the potential winner(s) cannot be reached after 30 days from first notification attempt, or the potential winner(s) has refused to accept the prize, or if entrant is found to be ineligible, or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, the prize will be forfeited and become the property of Sierra Commons.

Odds of Winning 
Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. Entry constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use winner(s)’ names, hometowns, and likenesses for publicity purposes without additional compensation. Winner(s) will be notified electronically, by telephone and/or e-mail.

Limit of Entry 
Limit two entries per person for the entire entry period. Multiple entries, if discovered, will be disqualified. By entering, entrants acknowledge compliance with these official rules including all eligibility requirements. Sierra Commons is not responsible for failures in technology such as but not limited to: technical malfunctions, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software, inability to access any website or online service, or any other error or malfunction, or late, lost, incorrect or inaccurate transcription of entry information, or for any human error, or misdirected entries. Entry materials that have been tampered with or altered are void. Proof of emailing and/or mailing does not constitute proof of delivery.

Prizes 
One drawing will be held. All prizes are non-transferable. Prize value varies based on prize. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. All taxes on the prizes, including but not limited to federal, state and local income and sales taxes, and any expense not covered herein (including but not limited to expenses related to the use of the prize) are the responsibility of the winners.

 

After five years of service to Sierra Commons, Robert Trent has decided to step aside and pursue new avenues.  Robert was the founder and original Executive Director at Sierra Commons.  He built Sierra Commons from the ground up during a recession and helped to make Sierra Commons a sustainable co-working facility and education center.  “I have been blessed with the opportunity to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in Nevada County and help individuals transform their passion into sustainable enterprises,” Robert said about his time spent at Sierra Commons.  His hard work and dedication to Sierra Commons will always be appreciated and Robert Trent will always remain a friend to the organization and its members.

Robert Trent taking a call on the Sierra Commons tire swing.

Robert Trent taking a call on the Sierra Commons tire swing.

Robert Trent’s resignation comes at a time when Sierra Commons is blossoming and growing.  Robert Trent wrote in a recent press release, “Last August, Sierra Commons celebrated its fifth anniversary.  The non-profit was the first co-working facility in the Sierra Nevada, and one of the few rural co-working organizations in the world.  Sierra Commons, started during the recession, was an experiment to see if western Nevada County could rebuild its economy based on the principles of community, collaboration, and innovation.  The ongoing success of this experiment can be seen in the scores of new businesses and local jobs, the re-imagined careers of laid off workers, the countless “light bulb” moments at classes and community meetings that Sierra Commons continues to be a part of.”

Robert explains his decision to leave the board by saying, “After five years of serving on the Board of Directors at Sierra Commons I have decided to switch gears and focus on building new businesses from the ground up and offering private business consulting services.  I plan on staying involved with the Sierra Commons community as a co-working member, mentor, and volunteer.”

The current Sierra Commons Board of Directors is a dedicated and diverse board of business professional and non-profit leaders.  Robert Trent notes, “The board, along with Sierra Commons members, volunteers, and the greater business community are working together to ensure that the organization continues to serve individuals and our community.”

We thank Robert for all he has given to Sierra Commons these past five years.  We wish him success on his future endeavors.

Putting Your Best Site Forward: Tools & Techniques to Improve the Quality of your Website

Matt Vanderpol, Founder qatab

Your website is the public face of your company online. We’ll look at common problems and how you can make your website look and perform better, both to site visitors and search engines. Bring your laptop to setup some of the tools and get hand’s on experience with them.

Lunch & Learn Series

EVERY TUESDAY 12 to 1:15pm @ Sierra Commons

To help Nevada County’s businesses thrive and survive during this challenging economy, Sierra Commons is hosting a Lunch & Learn  series that includes a presentation or roundtable discussion by some of our area’s leading business professionals.

There will be plenty of time for questions, networking and socialization. The series includes topics relevant to small business owners, entrepreneurs and working professionals and are available to all Nevada County residents.

Bring a brown bag filled with your favorite midday meal and learn something to move your business forward.

A $10 donation is requested.