Grocery Opens Soon in St. Paris
Ice Cream Parlor Will Also Return
St. Paris Growing its Commerce
Mitchell credits each owner’s business acumen and commitment to the St. Paris community to “grow stronger” in 2021. “Shopping local, supporting local businesses and promoting goodwill in the community is what we in St. Paris believe in,” he said.
Mitchell is highlighting the accomplishments of business owners and businesses that recently opened, are planning to open, or are renovating in the village.
Family Country Cuts, located at 211 W. Main St. opened this month.
Janie Douglas’s salon offers a variety of services such as haircuts for men and women, coloring, make-up, facial waxing, manicure and pedicure and facials.
Douglas brought on two more workers, one full time and one part time, and is excited to see the growth of her business. Hinting at possibly including massage therapy, Douglas hopes to see the small operation become a full-fledged salon.
Walk-in hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment only weekdays after 5 p.m. and on Saturdays. Appointments can be made by calling 937- 869-8300.
Longbow Health Plans, located at 120 S. Springfield St. opened in June of 2020 and is an agency composed of insurance professionals who offer “high quality insurance products and retirement planning services to meet your goals and budget.”
Clay Ruffner, the founder of Longbow, graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and later Case Western Reserve University with an MBA. Clay is a licensed, independent agent “committed to not only finding clients fantastic coverage,” but also providing ongoing support. “We aren’t finding you coverage and then leaving you in the dust,” Ruffner said. “Put us as a contact on your phone, because we never want to be far away, and always want to be your trusted expert.”
Longbow Health Plans holds office hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached by calling 937-788-7713.
Retail store Pony Wagon Bargains, located at 146 S. Springfield St. opened in October of 2020.
Owners Jason and Jessica Anderson held the store’s grand opening on October 31. Claiming to have “something for everyone,” the Pony Wagon Bargains offers discount prices on many top name-brand items including electronics, household, health and beauty, children’s toys, baby items and more.
Pony Wagon Bargains is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
A new grocery is preparing to open this spring after the village lost its IGA to closure. Since the IGA closed, village residents have been relying on a chain store retailer and the local farmers market during the warm season.
Mitchell met with the owners of the new business and toured the progress of renovations in late December.
Mitchell said the new owners do not wish to speak publicly, but promised to relay any permissible information to the public as it becomes available. “He’s excited to join this community and the community is excited about having a grocery store once again. Details on branding, staffing and things of that sort have not been communicated to us yet,” Mitchell said of the unnamed owner.
Debbie McGuire Lyons is the building owner at 115 Main St.
Braden’s Cafe & Sweets was the last tenant and has since closed.
Lyons is in the midst of a full renovation of the entire building, but has not indicated what the long-term plans will be. Lyons declined public comment but did say “the structural repairs are underway” as she has “big plans for the building’s future.”
Reach Andrew Grimm at UDCeditor@aimmediamidwest.com.
Three Businesses to Move in Next Fall
Once work is completed, TIS – a minority-owned, full-service commercial inspection, engineering and construction management company – will occupy the building’s second floor, moving from its current South Main Street location.
Community Health & Wellness Partners (CHWP), which offers a full range of primary medical care including behavioral health services in Bellefontaine, Indian Lake and West Liberty, will open a newly approved Urbana location on the first floor of 605 Miami St. by late fall 2021. The Health Resource Service Administration has also granted CHWP approval to open a school-based health center in West Liberty-Salem Schools in early 2021, CHWP President/CEO Tara Bair said.
The third business – The Door Shop, a commercial door and hardware distributor – will have light manufacturing and warehouse operations at the site.
The former Q3 JMC building is the fourth major vacant structure in Urbana to be given a new lease on life this fall. It joins the Douglas Hotel and the former Urbana North and South Elementary Schools, which are being restored and renovated for FC Legacy Place, a total of 51 affordable senior apartments.
“Both projects have moved forward thanks to strong public-private partnerships, of government and business working together to obtain the necessary funding and provide the expertise to bring plans to reality,” said Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), Champaign County’s economic development agency.
Bailey credits the Champaign County Board of Revision for helping set the wheels in motion for the Q3 JMC project when it approved in 2015 the City of Urbana’s request to obtain the property free of unpaid back property taxes and other encumbrances after no one bid on the property at a sheriff’s sale.
The city took ownership of the 20-acre site in 2017, said Doug Crabill, community development manager who has managed the project for the city. After that the city pursued redevelopment of the property, to clear it of contamination and prepare it for development by new owners.
Bailey assisted the city in reaching an agreement with TIS, the city’s development partner, to oversee the site cleanup and redevelopment. “They were the only company that came forward with interest in renovating the building and turning the brownfield into a greenfield for business development,” Bailey said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to find an end user for the property because of the contamination that had to be removed.”
On behalf of TIS, Bailey wrote an application for a JobsOhio Site Redevelopment Pilot Program grant to help fund the work.
JobsOhio, encouraged by the number of community partners involved, awarded TIS a reimbursable grant of $883,947 to help cover the cost of demolition, environmental remediation, asbestos abatement, removal and disposal of waste, and site preparation. The city provided $348,435 in matching funds, and TIS contributed $116,145.
TIS has acquired 12.6 acres on the east side of the 20-acre redevelopment site, including the Q3 JMC building. The remaining portion of the 20-acre site is being readied to be marketed for business development, Crabill said.
Timm said TIS’s new location will “help take us to the next step in the growth of our company, to hire more personnel and expand our operations.” In addition, he said, some of the 12.6-acre parcel that the former Q3 JMC building sits on will be developed for sale to other businesses.
“The building will be an anchor for future development on the rest of the property, restore jobs lost when Q3 JMC closed, and generate tax revenue for our community,” Bailey said.
Kerry Brugger, Urbana’s director of administration, said, “We’re excited to see the building come back into productive use. It’s a great project for our community. It eliminates a severe safety and health nuisance for the community and will retain and create jobs.”
Of TIS, he said, “It’s been a pleasure working with them. They’ve been an excellent partner to work with.”
Funds aimed to help small business hit by pandemic
To qualify for the grant program, businesses must:
Businesses that have received funding for expenses arising from the pandemic cannot submit the same expenses for reimbursement under the CARES Grant for Champaign County Small Businesses.
“We are so appreciative of our small businesses and although there is great uncertainty, Champaign County is hopeful that businesses receiving these grant funds will successfully persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic.” Bailey said.
Applications and grant guidelines are available here: www.champaignworks.com/CARESGrantChampaignCounty beginning October 30, 2020. Application deadline is November 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Due to the short application period, we recommend you apply as soon as possible. In order to assist you, please send your questions to email@example.com.
Businesses are also encouraged to visit https://businesshelp.ohio.gov for additional assistance. Governor DeWine announced CARES Act funding through the State of Ohio for small business and others that have been impacted financially by the pandemic
By: Jenna Lawson, WHIO
View video of the announcement on WHIO's website
There were many points in the last five years that community partners thought ‘Legacy Place’ might never happen.
It took time to capture nearly $13 million in funding sources, including historic tax credits – not to mention delays due to the pandemic. But on Thursday, partners announced the funds were released and they are able to move forward with the project. It’s possible construction could start within the next week.
‘Legacy Place’ transforms the Douglas Inn in downtown Urbana and two former elementary schools (North & South) into affordable senior housing. 51 units will be created for those 55 and older, with six of them being devoted to people with disabilities.
“It’s just a real renaissance for Urbana,” Mayor Bill Bean told News Center 7′s Jenna Lawson.
Duane Miller, with development company Flaherty & Collins and also president of F & C Legacy Place, said the project accomplishes two goals: turning three vacant properties into useful properties and filling the need for affordable senior housing in Urbana.
“I love to jump into the skin of a community that’s looking for help and looking for opportunities to spur on their own development,” he said.
The Douglas has been vacant since 2004 and has long been a large eyesore on the southwest corner of Monument Square. The building has somewhat deteriorated and was the target of multiple arson fires in 2019.
The former owner of the property, John Doss, has done work to stabilize the structure. The elementary schools, despite being about 100 years old, are in solid shape, partners said.
The timeline for the project will move quickly. Developers estimate about six months to complete both elementary schools and a little over a year to finish the Douglas. Partners are hopeful that the project will have a positive domino effect on other aspects of Urbana living including neighboring businesses and housing.
“We may see some of those seniors who may move in here and now their single family homes are available for a new families to move in,” said director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, Marcia Bailey.
Bailey added that this solution also preserves the history of all three buildings for the community to enjoy for decades to come. “Having these buildings standing as they are and being repurposed is a huge win for our community,” she said.
Other partners in the project include the City of Urbana, Urbana City Schools and Resident Supports and Services, Inc., which provides housing for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities.
Legacy Place Project Gets Green Light
DSA will reimburse two-thirds of the wages paid (up to $10,000) to an intern acquired through our program. Companies can either be a tech-focused company or any company with the need for a tech-focused intern. During this time of social distancing, the internship allows for and encourages, remote or telework opportunities. Companies can hire as many as three (3) interns for different positions. The minimum wage for interns is $15 per hour but can exceed that amount. The internship period begins on November 1, 2020 and ends on April 30, 2021.
The company application is now open and interested companies can apply at https://development.ohio.gov/bs_thirdfrontier/diip.htm
Below is a 1 pager outlining the Internship Program. Please feel free to forward along to any businesses you think may be interested in this opportunity.
Clark State Offers Free Webinar
Clark State Community College Workforce and Business Solutions will present a free webinar on August 10, 2020, from 2 - 3 p.m. featuring Dr. Maurice Stinnett, a national leader in the space of diversity and inclusion.
The webinar – Maximize Business Profit and Growth: Through the Lens of Diversity and Inclusion - will begin the important discussion of equity and inclusion and how embracing this discussion can lead to business growth and success, including real world examples of company leaders in this space and their success.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Dr. Stinnett to be able to bring this important discussion to our regional business partners,” said Lesli Beavers, director of Clark State Workforce and Business Solutions. “This timely discussion will hone-in on why it is vital that businesses embrace this work, through the lens of important factors to businesses and our local economy: hiring, retention, productivity, growth and profit. Dr. Stinnett is a national leader in this space, and we hope that all of our region’s businesses will take advantage of this opportunity.”
Stinnett is an experienced leader and expert in the areas of diversity, inclusion and equity across nonprofit, education and corporate sectors. He serves as the inaugural vice president of diversity and inclusion for BSE Global, which owns and operates state-of-the-art venues such as the Barclays Center and premier sports franchises including the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. In his role at BSE Global, he creates innovative programming tailored for inclusion and cultural competence and provides leadership and support across BSE's brands. Dr. Stinnett was the first black man to be appointed vice president of diversity and inclusion for an NBA team.
“Building a culture of diversity, inclusion and equity does not happen by chance,” said Stinnett. “It requires time, work and investment from the whole organization. However, when you get diversity and inclusion right, you actually increase your profitability.”
Stinnett is an energetic presenter who is a fierce advocate for equity and inclusion. He has been recognized for this work by various organizations, including receiving the Robinson Trailblazer Award for Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition and being named to the "The Responsible 100" corporate leaders list by City & State New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in business from Central State University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master of Education and Doctor of Education in organizational leadership from Columbia University.
The free webinar will cover topics such as:
Registration for Maximize Business Profit and Growth: Through the Lens of Diversity and Inclusion is now open online at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6056726180708401675
The new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Urbana officially welcomed its first guests on Friday, June 12th!
Reservations are now available online at https://www.staycobblestone.com/oh/urbana/
“They say they’re seeing a lot of demand in emergency rooms,” Hall said of the cooling systems found in emergency rooms throughout the country. He described the Gentherm product as a cooling system on wheels with a Hall Company control device that raises and lowers the temperature of blankets used in emergency rooms.
Hall said The Hall Company has heard from many customers as the coronavirus closed the doors of many businesses.
“A lot of customers reached out to us,” he said. “They say we’re essential.”
The company is not only hearing from customers for whom medical devices are made.
Illinois Tool Works (ITW) in Piqua manufactures food processing equipment for commercial kitchens throughout the country. The Hall Company makes replacement parts for that equipment.
“They told us we’re essential to the supply chain,” Hall said. “You don’t think about how connected we all are.”
Asked whether current staffing can handle regular production as well as Gentherm’s order wanted next month, Hall said employees are handling the situation.
“We didn’t take this situation lightly,” he said of the COVID-19 threat. “We are not requiring employees to come in. We asked for volunteers. Most of our staff volunteered.”
Hall said he appreciates employees’ willingness to work, but understands the decision of those choosing to stay home during the pandemic.
“We want to help the U.S. and help the supply chain, but employee safety is our number one priority,” he said. “We’re a family business. Without our employees, we have nothing.”
Employee breaks have been staggered so people are not in one place at the same time. The once-a-day cleaning routine now is done several times a day.
“We’ve redone the layout so we can space out, and some people work from home when possible,” Hall said. “We’ll all be in different rooms talking on the phone. We take temperatures each day and check it again a couple times a day.
“We’re trying to do what’s right for everybody,” he said. “We appreciate our employees and we appreciate the people on the front lines. We’re not on the front lines, but we’re trying to give the people on the front lines the tools they need.”