Friday, October 28, 2011

Bull City Coworking: A Place to Work Where the Coffee is Free



I spent over a grand on coffee last year. What a bargain.

I can feel the eyes rolling with that last statement. How does one justify spending so much on the go go juice, and how can you claim that’s a good deal.

It’s the price people like me have to pay to operate a business. I use Durham’s coffee joints as office space. During the day I move from place to place in search of the perfect ambiance to create the master piece du jour. One day it’s a column for The Durham News. The next it’s a blog post on the Rev-elution. The next it’s a section in my next novel. Go ahead and say it. He’s a writing machine.

So, I pay for that space by purchasing coffee. It’s the least I can do to keep my friends in business. Given my love for all of them, I try to spread the love around. Dorian at the Beyu Caffe get’s jealous when I fail to show up for a cup of his medium roast. Which reminds me, I haven’t paid rent there in over two weeks.

My friend Heather Smith Linton would reprimand me for my caffeine consumption. Linton, a tax accountant, would remind me that it’s not a tax deduction. Good point. It’s hard to justify close to a grand for what amounts to a business expense without being able to itemize it at the end of the year. The IRS wouldn’t understand my attempt to justify the coffee house as my office space.

I’m not alone in this grapple with finding space to get the creative juices flowing. Those coffeehouses are packed with folks like me; clad with laptop and a cup of coffee waiting for inspiration. Many of us stay through the day, taking up valuable space because there is nowhere else to go. We lack the funds to afford our own office. We crave the comforts of a place void of the temptations at home. No television or bed begging me to jump in to take a much needed break.

The 1000 bucks spent for a place to work is a good deal. The problem, once again, is Uncle Sammy doesn’t consider it a deductable expense. Enter Bull City Coworking. Two of my coffeehouse pals have come up with an alternative to my nondeductible expense. They have found space for folks like me to write, drink coffee, access the internet with a tax deduction at the end of the year.

It’s notable that Robert Petrusz, one of the owners of Bull City Coworking, introduced the concept to me while I was sipping coffee and writing at the Bean Trader on Ninth Street. I was sitting on the couch engrossed in writing one of my columns, or was it a blog, or…”What would you think of a place where you could work at a small fee,” he asked. “People like us could share space. The coffee would be free.” Bingo. He had me at free coffee! I can deduct the cost for the space. That will offset the cost of coffee.

I quickly made my pitch to sign up. Where, how soon, how much? Please, please let me sign up. From there they shared the other perks-parking, Wi-Fi, close proximity to downtown, reasonable cost. How reasonable. It all sounded good, but was offsetting the cost of coffee worth the expense. It’s just me, my computer and a prayer for resources to keep me floating. I need a plan that made it sound like more than a pipe dream.

Petrusz and his partner Brian Rascoe aren’t the first to envision alternative space for a growing population of start-up, independent workers. Bull City Forward has space in downtown for small business owners, but the space isn’t laptop and one person show friendly. The American Underground has space for tech heads working to become the next Mark Zuckerberg, the co-creator of Facebook. It’s just me and my words. That’s lurking on the pipe dream.

At Bull City Coworking I can pay by the day, the week, the month or the year. I’m considering the monthly rate of $122. Again, I can deduct that on my taxes and I get free coffee.

I wish I could say more, but its lunch time at Parker & Otis. Someone needs this space. Besides, they don’t have Wi-Fi and I need to upload this blog. I supposed I could head over to the Beyu Caffe. It’s too cold to walk to the Bean Traders on Ninth Street. Where to work?

Soon I will be able to jump on the Bull City Connector and ride to Bull City Co-Working at 600 East Main Street. I hate parking at Beyu because I only get one hour to park before getting a $10 ticket.

The parking is free, they have Wi-Fi and the coffee is free. Sign me up Buddy!

For more information on Bull City Coworking, go to their website: http://www.bullcitycoworking.com/

1 comment:

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