LIMA — Barry Electronics, Swartz Contracting and Emergency Services and Vanamatic Company are finalists for the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce 2018 Small Business of the Year Award.
The three businesses were nominated for the award because they are financially stable and profitable, are involved in the community, have 150 or less employees, and have been in business for five years or less.
The Emerging Business of the Year Award winner will be announced at the Chamber’s 16th annual Awards Gala May 2 at the University of Northwestern Ohio Event Center.
After a lay-off from Dana Corp., Dave Barry started Barry Electric in 1987 that specialized in repairing motors, electronics and electrical services in Bluffton. That business evolved into Bluffton Aire and expanded to assembling, selling and installing air compressors. By 1989, Barry Electronics evolved from Bluffton Aire.
Since first opening in 1989 the store has grown from 300 to 800 square feet and there have been various remodels to better accommodate technology changes.
Barry Electronics donates money to the Dayton’s veterans hospital, Safety City, the Lima Police Department and various other organizations.
Swartz Contracting and Emergency Services
After two of his previous employers closed, Paul Swartz started Swartz Contracting and Emergency Services in May 1987 out of his house. In 1991, he bought out TR Siding, a seamless gutter installation company, and also built nine customer homes in both Lima and Findlay.
Since 2001, the company’s focus has been on restoration and commercial remodeling, insurance restoration, full service construction, water mitigation and mold remediation. The company now has 24 employees, including his son.
Swartz Contracting and Emergency Services is involved with the Food Bank, Red Cross, the local Boy Scouts, Makerfest, Salvation Army, Shawnee United Methodist Church and more.
With an investment of $40,000, Vanamatic Company was founded by the Wiltsie family in 1954. The company was first housed in a 6,000-square-foot building with six employees and one customer. However after a fire, the company acquired new property and is now in a 80,000-square-foot building in Delphos.
Vanamatic Company has invested its time and funds into supporting athletic and academic programs, the chamber of commerce, the local government, Ohio Means Jobs, Apollo Career Center, Delphos Jefferson, St. John’s High School and more.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews