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.
Longtime Springfield business expanding, as it has large customer base in Champaign County city
“Wallace and Turner has always had a large customer base in Urbana and it continues to grow, so it was a natural decision to open a second location there,” said Patrick Field, a partner with the insurance agency. “We want to make the insurance process as simple as possible for clients and having a physical presence will make it even more convenient for them to stop in and ask questions or update their policy.”
Wallace and Turner has operated locally in Springfield since 1870 and provides personal and commercial coverage, according to a news release sent this week.
The agency is also a long-standing member of Associated Risk Managers International, Keystone Insurers Group, Trusted Choice, Ohio Insurance Agents Association and Independent Insurance Agents Association, both in Ohio and nationally, the release said.
“The office addition demonstrates Wallace & Turner’s continued commitment to providing the best services we can to our surrounding communities,” said P.J. Miller , a partner with Wallace and Turner. “Our agency is deeply invested in supporting our clients, their families and businesses, and we look forward to expanding our relationships throughout Urbana.”
Contact this reporter at 937-328-0355 or email Hasan.Abdul-Karim@cmg.com.
Key development projects
Thanks to economic development investments by private businesses working with the CEP, Urbana – for the first time ever – ranked 41st in the Site Selection magazine’s 2017 list of top U.S. micropolitan communities.
Recent successes include the new Navistar distribution center, Memorial Health’s medical building, expansion of Weidmann Electrical Technology, opening of Nutrien Ag Solutions, Sutphen Corporation’s new Service, Parts and Refurbishment Center, expansion of Old Souls Farms hydroponic operations, expansion of Advanced Technology Products and purchase of the former Robert Rothschild Farm property.
Champaign County manufacturing jobs have grown from under 3,000 jobs in 2013 to nearly 4,000 in 2018.
Major projects for 2019 include:
The CEP is partnering with schools and businesses in numerous ways to help make sure Champaign County has the skilled workforce required by new and expanding businesses.
Results of these partnerships include:
For more information, call the CEP at 937-653-7200 or browse CEPOhio.com.
“At least 75 percent of economic development is retention – helping existing businesses succeed and possibly expand their operations to provide jobs and a tax base that improves our county’s quality of life,” says Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP).
That’s why she and the CEP Board of Trustees created a team that visits local businesses to learn more about them, including what’s working for them and what challenges they face in reaching their goals.
So far, the JOBS (Jobs, Opportunities, Buildings and Space) team has visited Honeywell Aerospace, Bundy Baking Solutions and the Hall Company. The JOBS team is available to visit any type of business – not just manufacturing. Businesses wanting a visit may call the CEP at 937-653-7200.
The CEP is a partnership of local government and business created in 2015 to promote economic development, workforce development and job retention and creation in Champaign County.
The JOBS team varies from one visit to the next, but generally consists of Bailey; a county commissioner; a city and/or village administrator; an education representative, from Urbana University, Clark State Community College and/or Ohio Hi-Point Career Center; and a workforce development representative, from Ohio Means Jobs Champaign County or the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services.
During the visits, the team learns about each business:
· Their products, services, markets and history
· Local companies they do business with
· What they like about doing business in Champaign County
· What they think would make doing business easier
· Plans, such as expansion, new products or markets, and what they’ll need to make it happen, such as more land or building space, additional utility access, more employees or training for existing staff
“Our JOBS team visits enable us to see how the CEP and our partnerships with private businesses, local government, education, workforce development, and regional and state economic development agencies can boost local businesses,” Bailey says. “And our visits help businesses learn about the resources the CEP and our partners have to offer. They learn that we’re ready to help.”
She adds, “From these visits I’ve learned a lot about our local businesses. I’m impressed by the quality of the products they produce, the skill and technology that goes into making them and the high regard they’ve earned in markets across the country and around the globe.”
In the visits the businesses have cited as advantages good relationships with the city of Urbana, utilities and local suppliers; a relatively good cost of doing business; and the Grimes Field airport.
Challenges that they’ve cited include upcoming retirements and meeting current workforce needs, including machinists and entry-level positions. A need for more space to increase business capacity was also mentioned at one of the visits.
Ten monitors will be placed in public areas – one each at the five Champaign County high schools; in the villages of Mechanicsburg, North Lewisburg and St. Paris; Urbana University; and Ohio Hi-Point. The monitors will be installed beginning in late August. Content shown on the monitors will be generated by the CEP.
Urbana University and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center are providing funds to purchase the monitors and associated equipment, while DP&L and FASTLANE are assisting with funding for ongoing media service to broadcast content on the monitors.
CEP Director Marcia Bailey added that Berry Digital Solutions is helping the CEP manage the project and that Weidmann Electrical Technology Inc. funded the original monitor at the CEP.
The purpose, she said, is to inform students and other county residents about local career opportunities and education and training available to prepare students for the workforce “I’m a strong believer in the education-workforce ecosystem. And the CEP is leading the way to organizing education and employers, preparing talent to meet the needs of our employers,” said Christopher Washington, executive vice president and CEO of Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University.
The monitors are the ideal way to deliver the information, he adds.
“Kids today are digitally wired and pay attention to what’s on the screen.”
Kelsey Webb, Ohio Hi-Point director of communications and marketing, said, “We’re participating because this is completely in our wheelhouse to prepare students for career or college. We’re excited to help spread the message that there are great opportunities here for students.”
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.