Local business owners find help

LIMA — There are 944,797 small business in Ohio. This accounts for 99.6% of all businesses in Ohio. They employ 2.2 million people. Small business is a big deal.

The Small Business Development Center at Rhodes State College is a nonprofit that offers its services free. Funding for the free service comes from the Small Business Administration, the Ohio Development Service Agency, Rhodes State College and local partnerships.

If a resident is interested in starting a business the Small Business Development Center can help make a dream become a reality by developing a business plan, then giving access to capital by getting in touch with bankers and financing. If you want to expand your business the Small Business Development Center can help by gathering data about what are the needs in the area. There are courses that can be accessed during the day, in the evening or online.

Small business owners were asked the keys to their success. Linda Hampshire, owner of Jean and Lilly’s Fashion Boutique in downtown Lima, said, “The key to success is love what you’re doing. Know the people you are marketing to, offer good customer service and good quality merchandise. We love helping people look their best and feel their best. When you look good, you feel good.”

Brittney Wienken, owner of 7th Street Deli in Spencerville, says, “The keys to success is hard work, determination, always evolving.”

Courtney Hastings, the business specialist at Rhodes State College, explains why small businesses are a vital part of any community. She said, “Small businesses make up the majority of businesses in the state of Ohio. The revenue they create gives back into the community triple what any other box store can bring to the community.”

Independent small businesses on average give 48% back to the community. Local restaurants give back an average of 65.4% into the local community. Their marketing is done in house or through someone locally. Shopping and eating locally keeps our money in the area where it’s important to the community. Although it is popular, online shopping does very little to help locally.

The are 22 shopping days until Christmas. Consider shopping small.

Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409

Dean Brown joined The Lima News in 2022 as a reporter. Prior to The Lima News, Brown was an English teacher in Allen County for 38 years, with stops at Perry, Shawnee, Spencerville and Heir Force Community School. So they figured he could throw a few sentences together about education and business in the area. An award-winning photographer, Brown likes watching old black and white movies, his dog, his wife and kids, and the four grandkids - not necessarily in that order. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0409.