SUCCESS STORY FOR
Leo and Lillie Millan of The Press
Leo and Lillie Millan are owners of The Press, a coworking space that opened in early 2020 in the heart of downtown Clarksville. It is the first collaborative community for entrepreneurship in the local area.
Leo Millan developed a passion for small-business owners because he understands the journey. Now a real estate mogul, he experienced many failures before enjoying triumphs. Millan never wants those interested in starting businesses to feel alone. The purpose of The Press is to support entrepreneurs and small-business owners by providing them with a safe space to learn from one another and grow.
Deciding to open The Press amid everything else that was occurring in 2020 was a tough but necessary decision for the Millans. The Millans and their team decided that focusing on “life after the pandemic” would be the best course of action. Knowing things would look different post-pandemic, they aimed to create a dynamic environment that was functional for remote working options, nonprofits, freelancers, and college students.
In preparation for opening the first phase of The Press, the team met with the Clarksville TSBDC for assistance with market research to learn more about local competitors and small-business needs. The first phase offers meeting rooms and limited office spaces. The second phase, which unveils in 2022, includes a podcasting room, additional office spaces, event space, an art studio, and an amphitheater. Since the initial meeting with the center, The Press has seen an increase in leasing requests from entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
The location of The Press is unique: It is in the historical Leaf-Chronicle Building. It pays homage to the printing press headquarters that occupied the space in years past.
“The center has been super helpful in assisting us with navigating this venture by assisting us with many facets to include market research and understanding the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Working with the center has been a great experience,” said Rylan Kean, the director of business development.
Investing in The Press required over half a million dollars and hiring employees to see the vision become a reality. Leo, Lillie, and their team were awarded the first-ever Central Business Improvement District (CBID) redevelopment recognition because of the significant impact they made on Clarksville’s CBID.
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