Rick Schpok, owner of Sonrise Business Center in Niles, is now offering a display unit for potential customers at Sonrise Business Center. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Sonrise Center attracts start-up businesses

Published 5:00am Monday, September 3, 2012

For more than 20 years, Rick Schpok has been providing a place in Niles for start-up businesses to, well, start up.

Schpok has several commercial spaces for lease at Sonrise Business Center, 1990 South 11th St.

Schpok said he built the business center with the goal of attracting more businesses to Niles by offering affordable commercial space in a high traffic area.

The units range in size from 36 square feet to 16,000 square feet. Units are being leased by a variety of start-ups, ranging from independent contractors, to commercial tool suppliers, to a dog-grooming business.

“Statistically, there’s around 26,000 cars a day driving by this location,” Schpok said. “People are attracted to the location and the relatively low cost of the buildings. There isn’t anything like it in this area.”

Late last month, Schpok began offering a display unit to potential customers. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week.

“It should give people a good idea of what we have to offer,” he said. “We’ve had a couple people stop by already, so I think it’s a success.”

Schpok said the local economy hit a low point approximately two years ago, but, since then, business has been steadily improving.

“I’ve had about a 20 percent increase in start-ups from two years ago to today, and I get more inquires phone inquires than I got two years ago,” he said. “I think there is a potential for Niles to have increases in business development, but maybe in a larger quantity of small businesses rather than to have a few large businesses.”

Sonrise Business Center can be reached by at (269) 684-4565 or by email at rick@sonrisecenter.com.

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