An offer you can’t refuse: Office space in Rogers Building

Those serious about launching a business might want to take a serious look at the Rogers Building Small Business Development.

The program, based in the heart of downtown Idaho Falls, provides inexpensive and professional office space, as well as administrative resources that often are beyond the financial reach of fledgling businesses.

“We’re not a true business incubator (but) we provide many amenities,” program manager Brandi Warnke told Shoptalk.

A total of 30 offices are available, all located on the second floor of the Rogers Building, 545 Shoup. Rent starts at 40 cents per-square-foot and tops out at $1.20. Along with the space comes free Wi-Fi, faxing capabilities, copy machine access, a large workroom area, available office furnishings, a kitchen, large conference room, as well as a spacious professional waiting area, Warnke said.

The program’s reduced rent option is available to qualifying new, non-established businesses that have not had previous professional space.

According to information provided by Warnke, “Qualification requires completion of rental application, including references and completed business plan questionnaire. If the entity already has a completed business plan, which includes financials, a copy of the plan can be provided in place of the business plan questionnaire.” The applicant also will be interviewed by the management team.

Under the program, monthly rent is due by the first of each month. Rent is assessed on a sliding scale, starting at 40 cents per square foot and increasing, on a quarterly basis, until the full rent of $1.20 per square foot is reached on the 13th month of the lease.

While the program is aimed at new businesses — or home businesses looking for a professional setting — it also has amenities such as the conference room that are available to established businesses.

“Sometimes,” Warnke said, “it’s nice to be able to step out of your office and have access to something like this.”

The offices also feature off-street and free parking options for tenants and their clients.

“People ask, ‘What’s the catch?’ but I really don’t have a catch. We want to encourage business growth downtown,” Warnke said.

It was building owner John Tidyman who came up with the concept in February, she said, with the idea of helping new businesses get off the ground.

“We had an open house in April. The North Wind company operated out of here for many years,” Warnke said. “It’s just an awesome old building.”

When Warnke isn’t leasing office space for the program, she keeps busy with her own business — Warnke &Woolf Services.

The counseling service “helps individuals work through and address a number of mental health and other life area issues, such as trauma, substance use, relationship issues, family discord, behavior issues, low self-worth/confidence, etc.” Clients work with their therapist to create a treatment plan, Warnke said.

In 2004, Warnke received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Idaho State University in 2004, and a master’s degree from Northwest Nazarene University in 2012.

Warnke is a believer in the Small Business Development program.

“It really is a program meant to build business,” she said.

Those interested in the Small Business Development program space can contact Warnke at 681-1945.

Walmart offers jobs to Idaho veterans

During the first year of Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, the retail giant hired more than 42,000 veterans nationwide.

In Idaho, 231 veterans were hired at 24 Walmart locations across the state, including three super centers, a Sam’s Club, neighborhood market and discount store in eastern Idaho.

According to a Walmart news release, the program — launched Memorial Day 2013 — guarantees a job offer to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty.

Walmart projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans in five years.

The Walmart Foundation also announced it is doubling down on its commitment to veterans by pledging an additional $20 million through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs. In 2011, the Walmart Foundation pledged $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families get through those challenges with assistance from programs that provide job training, transition support and education.

“We have a generation of veterans who have built a legacy of incredible service and sacrifice to our nation,” said Bill Simon, Walmart’s U.S. president and CEO and a Navy veteran, in the release. “We have hired veterans at every career stage and in every part of our company …

“Veterans bring invaluable skills including leadership, commitment and hard work, which make our workforce even stronger.”

Building permits

Idaho Falls building officials recently approved permits for the following projects:

n Construction of a 4,800-square-foot commercial building for Idaho Falls Dental Group, with a valuation of $1.1 million, 2465 Jafer Court.

n Construction of a 1,402-square-foot home, with a valuation of $134,641.80, 845 Windrow Circle.

n Construction of a 1,312-square-foot home, with a valuation of $63,165.60, 3867 Brighton Circle.

n Commercial remodel for Shoe Show at the Grand Teton Mall, with a valuation of $85,975, 1226 E. 17th St.

n Commercial remodel for Mountain View Hospital’s Sleep Institute, with a valuation of $68,000, 2330 Desoto St.