Business: Contractors Plus

Location: 927 Main St., Heritage Square, Suite 4, Pleasantville

Owner: Joe Padro, of Egg Harbor Township, and Chris Gregson, 50, of Atlantic City

Employees: Owner-operated

Phone: 609-751-0255

We created Contractors Plus because I was a contractor. I had an office but it cost me so much I had to shut it down.

Between keeping supplies and utilities and rent, it cost me almost $4,000 a month.

I noticed a lot of contractors coming here for work after Hurricane Sandy and they had no place to meet. They were meeting clients at Wawas. They’re missing calls on their cellphones while working, and at home they’re trying to work but the kids are in the way.

So I had an idea to develop and offer office space with a cost to $255 to $350 per month.

We have three office spaces and a secretary, and when customers call, we answer in your name.

We can set up meetings and it gives them a professional setting to bring clients.

A lot of the girls like the idea because they don’t like a lot of people coming to their houses.

So this way clients and the contractors can go to an office and the family feels safer.

At the same time, people going to Contractors Plus online will see a list of contractors and they can get more information about them. We can forward emails and people won’t have to wait around for return calls.

Even if you have an office at home, you can’t keep up with the calls, and people who call want answers.

We should have a website soon for our contractors, and those guys who do have an office and still want some commercial space on our site can get on there as well.

We have spaces 14 by 14 feet and 11 by 14 feet. We have room to grow if more people come in.

Contractors have to be licensed by the state and insured to be part of this. We feel we have a duty to the customers that we host reliable contractors. I’d like to stay away from the contractors we feel are overpricing people unbelievably.

Entry: I did general contracting and energy contracting years ago. I’ve seen contractors parked all over the place.

The future: Maybe eventually we’ll include professionals. I have contacts in North Carolina and we’re considering other facilities so contractors would have options wherever they go.

Worked as a reporter for various weekly newspapers in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties before joining The Press many moons (and editors) ago as a business copy editor. Passionate about journalism, averse to serial commas.