Starting or expanding a business requires hard work, attention to detail and numerous points of contact, to turn plans into reality.
The Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP) simplifies the process as the starting point for anyone wanting to establish or expand business in Champaign County. And the CEP recently added to its website a helpful guide – the CEP Business Playbook.
The Playbook outlines key elements involved in starting or growing a business and the appropriate agencies to call on for help. The Playbook covers details such as writing a business plan, registering a business, finding available property with the appropriate zoning, acquiring necessary licenses and permits, business loans, marketing, utilities, and finding and retaining employees.
“The Playbook is a good resource to review before contacting us at the CEP to discuss your plans and develop a strategy for achieving your goals,” Marcia Bailey, director of the CEP, said.
“As Champaign County’s designated economic development agency, the CEP serves as the place for business developers to start. We can connect you with all the resources needed to start or grow a business, through our partnerships with local governments, state and regional economic development agencies, real estate agencies, utilities, lenders, workforce development and others,” Bailey said.
The Business Playbook can be accessed from the “CEP Business Playbook” tab on the top navigation bar of the CEP website.
The Playbook was developed with the help of the Small Business Development Center in Springfield, which serves Champaign County, Wittenberg University business students and Hannah Tukesbrey Kilbride, CEP administrative assistant.
For information on starting or expanding a business in Champaign County, contact the CEP at (937) 653-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And Tina Knotts, a former director of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, opened Let’s Eat Cake, a specialty bakery nearby at 117 Scioto St. The bakery also shares space with other local businesses for a separate business called Room 117 at that site, which provides space for catering and special events.
Both Oxner’s General Store and Let’s Eat Cake hosted grand opening celebrations earlier this month.
Manoloff said the store presented him an opportunity to turn a hobby into a full-time business.
A former government and history teacher at Springfield City School District, Manoloff also spent years tracking down unusual items and antiques as a vendor. Jewelry at the store is new but most other items available at the store’s two floors are vintage or antiques, he said.
“The whole time, I never lost my desire for antiques,” he said of his time as an educator.
Despite the competition from other antique stores downtown, he said he’s been welcomed in the short time his store has been open.
“Everyone wants each other to succeed and that’s very cool,” Manoloff said.
Knotts served as director of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce for several years before taking a similar position in Union County. But she chose to open Let’s Eat Cake in downtown Urbana because of the connections she still has in Champaign County. The business started in her home about four years ago but grew to the point where she needed additional space.
Along with running the bakery, she continues to work for the Union County chamber as well.
“It is a balancing act, I’m not going to fib,” Knotts said. “But I love the baking. I spend my weekends in Urbana and Monday through Friday I’m coordinating and promoting events for Union County.”
The bakery focuses on special orders and cakes for weddings, baby showers and similar events. It’s closed for retail most of the week, but typically opens on Saturdays to allow customers to place and pick up orders. The bakery also hosts Cupcake Staurdays each weekend where customers can buy cupcakes, cookies and other items from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Knotts’ business also shares space at Room 117 at that address with the Buckeye Pig Rig, a catering company and food truck, and Cafe Paradiso, a downtown Urbana restaurant. Along with providing room for Knotts to bake, the space can also be rented for events like wedding showers and rehearsal dinners.
“We all recognized that small event space is hard to find for 25 to 35 people, so we took the cafe and converted it to private dining space,” she said.
That allows the restaurant and catering service to use the space while Knotts can provide baked goods.
“We’re kind of waiting for a response from the public to see what the demand is and then we can add hours or staff,” Knotts said.
by Joshua Keeran, Urbana Daily Citizen
For the second time since opening a clinic in Urbana in May 2015, Mary Rutan Hospital has expanded its outreach in Champaign County.
On Monday, the Logan County staple opened Mary Rutan Therapy & Sports Medicine, a 4,160-sq. ft. medical office located in the Walmart strip mall at 211 Lippincott Lane (formerly Cato).
Situated a stone's throw from the Mary Rutan Hospital Urbana Clinic, 1880 E. U.S. Route 36, the new office gives the hospital much-needed space for its physical therapy and sports medicine services, while allowing for new services to be offered to county residents who had been traveling north to Bellefontaine, said Laura Miller, Mary Rutan Hospital marketing and communications vice president.
"We were operating in about 500 square feet of space for our physical therapy and sports medicine services," she said. "Just in the short period of time we've provided these services (since mid-2016 when the clinic moved from 848 Scioto St. to its current location), we have outgrown the space very, very quickly."
With an additional 4,000 square feet of space at its disposal, the new Mary Rutan Therapy & Sports Medicine office will also offer other therapies: occupational, speech and language, and feeding, swallowing and voice.
Likewise, by moving physical therapy and sports medicine services to the new office, Mary Rutan Hospital was able to expand services at its Urbana clinic.
Along with offering adult and pediatric primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, X-ray and laboratory services, Miller said the Mary Rutan Urbana Clinic recently added the following services: urology, orthopedic, and ear, nose and throat.
Miller added that opening the new office created extra space for more exam rooms, etc., which means the hospital is able to bring additional providers to Champaign County to better serve its patients.
"It gives us more flexibility with scheduling by getting providers into the clinic and new office more often," Miller said.
To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (937) 887-0163.
Bailey was joined by CEP board members Kyle Hall, president of the Hall Company; Steve Hess, Champaign County commissioner; Evelyn Levino, chief of staff of Urbana University; Ron Salyer, president and chief executive officer of Pioneer Electric Cooperative; and Pat Thackery, Urbana city councilman and owner of Café Paradiso, Carmazzi’s, the Studio and Fine Arts Gallery, and Room 117.
“It’s great to see all the good things happening in Champaign County – the investment and job opportunities. It’s all good,” Jordan said.
At the Navistar site, Jordan spoke with Jerry and Brad Damewood of Damewood Enterprises, on whose property the warehouse is being built in the Urbana Industrial Park, at 915 Phoenix Drive.
The $12 million facility is expected to be completed by Dec. 1. Navistar will store up to $16 million in inventory in the warehouse to support contracts with General Motors at the Navistar assembly plant between Springfield and Urbana. The facility will retain 114 existing Navistar jobs. In addition, 27 jobs will be transferred from Xenia and 13 new full-time jobs will be created.
Urbana City Schools Superintendent Charles Thiel led the group through the district’s two building projects, along with representatives of general contractor Gilbane Building Company and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), which administers the projects. The new schools are being funded 61 percent by state funds and 39 percent local.
The 180,000-square-foot pre-K through eighth grade school will have an enrollment of about 1,500 students when it opens in early 2019. Located on South U.S. Route 68, the school property is in the process of being annexed into the city of Urbana.
Thiel said that classes will begin in the new Urbana High School, on the site of the current high school on Washington Avenue, in the spring of 2018. Two portions of the existing building will remain after the project is completed: the iconic Castle building and the auditorium/gymnasium building.
Funding through OFCC does not pay for auditorium construction, but Thiel said the school’s auditorium underwent an extensive upgrade in 2001. He added that the floor below the auditorium could be used for a manufacturing lab to help with workforce development.
The new school, for about 500 students, is designed for flexibility in classroom layout to support project-based learning and use of the latest educational technology.
Thiel said the public is invited to tour the high school construction project Friday, Sept. 8, 5-6:30 p.m., before the Urbana-Greenville football game.
Urbana hospital preparing for upgrades
Mercy Memorial Hospital, founded in 1951, is undergoing more than a name change, to Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital. Jamie Houseman, the hospital’s president, said that Mercy Health, which is Ohio’s largest nonprofit health system, is providing capital funding to:
*Upgrade the hospital’s central sterile system to accommodate the addition in 2018 of a da Vinci® robotic surgery system. Houseman said this will expand the range of minimally invasive surgical procedures available locally to Champaign County residents, at Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital.
*Open a 10-bed geriatric psychiatric unit in a section of Mercy Health – McAuley Senior Living (formerly Mercy McAuley Center), which adjoins the hospital. The short-term inpatient treatment program is intended for individuals 55 and older. The secured unit will be ready year-end to accept patient referrals from a variety of sources. The program will provide short-term monitoring, medication adjustment and treatment of medically complicated conditions. Due to a lack of such facilities in the area, patients must often be transferred hours away for care, Houseman said.
Memorial Health Medical Building
Spence Fisher, executive vice president of Memorial Health, spoke with Jordan about Memorial Health’s $9 million 30,000-square-foot outpatient medical building under construction at the northwest corner of East U.S. Route 36 and North Dugan Road.
The facility, which will open mid-2018, will retain 16 existing jobs and create 12 new jobs. Memorial Primary Care, now at 900 Scioto St., Urbana, will move to the new facility. The practice, now with four primary care practitioners, will have room to recruit three more in the new location.
The medical building also will accommodate rotating medical specialists, urgent care, x-ray imaging, lab testing services, sports medicine, physical and occupational therapy, and a medical therapy clinic, where a clinical pharmacist and nurse practitioner will evaluate and counsel patients with complex, chronic conditions.
By Matt Sanctis - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Ethan Snyder was selling vegetables at farmer’s markets throughout the Columbus area when his dad offered a suggestion that led to the creation of a growing business in St. Paris.
Old Souls Farms, a hydroponic produce farm in Champaign County, has been in business for two years now. But the business is preparing for an expansion this fall after steadily adding clients at restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Columbus area, including Whole Foods. The big change, Snyder said, came when his dad suggested switching from farming outside to growing hydroponic lettuce in a quarter-acre greenhouse.
“My dad came to me and said, ‘I think I have a better idea,’” Snyder said.
For the past two years, Snyder and high school friend Vic Kaczkowski have been studying hydroponic farming techniques to provide lettuce, basil and other herbs to their clients year-round. They went to high school in Delaware County, but built the business in Champaign County in part due to its proximity to other markets like Cincinnati and Dayton. The biggest challenge, Snyder said, was breaking old habits about how to grow produce.
Joshua Keeran | Urbana Daily Citizen, Employees of SVG Motors and Trenor Motors gathered in the Scioto Street dealership Friday during the announcement of a change in ownership. Pictured in the center shaking hands are SVG Motors President Steve VanGorder, right, and Trenor Motors President Roger Tehan Jr., left. VanGorder said the plan is to keep as many former employees of Trenor Motors as possible while also hiring additional staff to join SVG Urbana.
by Joshua Keeran, Urbana Daily Citizen
One of the Urbana’s oldest operating businesses is no longer. Trenor Motors, family-owned and operated since 1926, was acquired Friday by SVG Motors.
Headquartered in Dayton, the SVG auto group consists of two new and used car dealerships – SVG Chevrolet in Greenville and SVG Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Eaton – along with SVG Motors, a used car dealership in Dayton.
Steve VanGorder, president of SVG Motors, said he has been in talks with Roger Tehan, owner of Trenor Motors, for the past two-and-a-half years about the possibility of acquiring the Urbana dealership.
“I’m very appreciative of Roger Tehan and his family for affording me this opportunity to be able to do this,” VanGorder said. “This is an honor to be a Chevy, Buick and GMC dealer. I’m living my dream. This is what I’ve always wanted, and I’m on top of the world right now.”
He added the plan for the 90-plus-year Urbana staple is for it to continue to operate as a Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership under the name of SVG Urbana.
“We feel this is a great community, and there is no reason why this store can’t sell and service a lot of cars,” he said.
“In my opinion, (this location) is the best piece of real estate in the county – in between the two most traveled roads (routes 29 and 36) going through the county.”
VanGorder said the dealership will tie in perfectly with his other stores, which will allow SVG Motors to continue to be home of the “Superior Value Guarantee (SVG).”
“(The dealership) just seems like it fits what we are doing with the synergies of all our other stores with our marketing and advertising,” he said. “It will allow us to have a larger footprint digitally and on television. We will also be able to offer our customers bigger discounts because we have multiple locations.”
Changes In Store
[READ MORE at UrbanaCitizen.com]
URBANA — A historic, vacant building in the heart of downtown Urbana might get new life if tax credits are approved by the state.
The building that once housed Little Nashville, a bar just south of the roundabout, has been empty for two years and investor John Doss with Dye and Doss Insurance wants to change that.
“I didn’t really see any prospects of anybody doing anything with it,” Doss said as to why he decided to take up the project. “And besides that, in the ’40s and ’50s, my grandfather owned it. So it’s kind of a sentimental place.”
His insurance office is just south of the old bar. An application for historic tax credits filed with the Ohio Development Service Agency shows the total cost to renovate the 4,475-squarefoot building will be about $222,000. The building will house one office inside and have two residential spaces on the second floor.
Doss has requested $31,000 in tax credits, which are sold to investors to provide money for the development. He said he hopes to have the project completed by next summer.
“The historic tax program is a pretty good deal and it is really nice for small buildings,” he said. “The tax credits makes this project a viable thing.”
Putting buildings to use in downtown Urbana helps everyone in the community, said Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the Champaign County Economic Partnership.
“We have a beautiful downtown with our historic overlay,” she said. “The more we can preserve and restore those buildings, the better our downtown will be.”
She took a tour of the building with Doss after he bought it about a year ago and said it has a lot of opportunity.
“Any new business is more than welcomed,” she said. “The foot traffic will benefit every business in downtown Urbana.”
READ MORE from staff writer Parker Perry at the Springfield News-Sun.