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System for aspiring business owners aims to revitalize Somerset

SOMERSET — Reid Curtis failed to anticipate to 1 day possess his possess business enterprise.

After doing the job in the retail business for 33 several years, he determined to choose a possibility and open (Mid)Western Second Hand, which offers a curated variety of secondhand boots, shirts, belts and other western attire.

He moved to Somerset a 10 years in the past, commuting to Columbus every day for his corporate work. He fell in enjoy with the town, and understood that was the position he preferred to set up store.

“Somerset is just a historic, charming, minimal village. There’s so substantially background just walking the streets,” he stated. “For people to occur and go to Somerset, we need to have to offer you ordeals.”

He put in the blood, sweat and tears to start his very first company, but he experienced some help together the way.

A application now in its 2nd yr assists aspiring business owners get expertise to acquire a detailed business enterprise strategy. 

The capture: They have to established up store in Somerset.

Mayor Tom Johnson, who sits in on the courses, hopes it will have a larger impact on the historic Perry County village.

“Making this a excellent place to dwell and pay a visit to is the strategy,” Johnson mentioned. “We’re on the lookout to curate types of shops that assist achieve that type of purpose.”

Revitilizing Somerset through small enterprise

Situated halfway among Zanesville and New Lexington, Somerset’s population has been stagnant for the past decade.

Census info exhibit the population sat at exactly 1,481 in 2020 and 10 several years prior. That’s 4.4% much less than the amount of individuals dwelling in town in 2000.

Johnson hopes bringing experiences to Somerset will deliver people today to town each as vacationers and lasting citizens, specifically younger men and women overflowing from a escalating Columbus.

He cited other new dining establishments opening that he said have served make Somerset a food desired destination, like Potent & Co. and Sophie’s Tea Space.

This year’s Pop-Up class is underway. Nine contestants will do an hour-long business prepare presentation just after obtaining classes from other local business people in accounting, money administration, taxes, insurance policy, internet marketing and other business enterprise arranging methods. Three winners are granted $1,500 every single funded by donations from a range of region organizations. 

The winners very last calendar year have been Curtis, Larry Myres and Cas Maxwell. Maxwell, greater identified for the namesake pizzeria Maxwell’s Pizza, will be opening a third spot in Somerset.

Myres and his sister opened French cafe Epicerie et les Fleurs on Most important Avenue with help from those winnings. He sees the worth in bringing regional business enterprise back to the place, where by his moms and dads are from and he now lives.

Epicerie:Epicerie et les Fleurs delivers taste of Europe to Somerset

“There have been distinct outlets I recall all-around below as a child. Slowly but surely they kind of moved on, so it was nice to see an interest in projecting funds into the city and revitalize it, due to the fact you see a great deal of compact towns in other parts exactly where money’s not heading into it,” Myres said. “And if it’s not growing, it’s decaying.”

Local entrepreneurship breeds pleasure in group

Johnson claimed Somerset has often had a solid regional small business existence.

“What’s specific about Somerset is we have retained a large amount of our area retail, mainly because the box merchants are considerably sufficient absent, so we’re lucky in that regard,” he mentioned. “This specific program is about trying to curate a organization mix that collectively is more substantial than it is by alone.”

But you will find constantly room for advancement, Curtis famous.

“I believe we’re beginning a journey, slowly and gradually climbing a hill, but we nevertheless have astounding empty structures deserving of retail spaces,” Curtis claimed. “I think we have a little get the job done to do, but we’re nevertheless on the way up.”

Just one space in which Johnson hopes to see some growth is with craft beverages. A few individuals this year are fascinated in opening distilleries and cider properties.

The group at Maxwell’s Pizza aren’t precisely new to the entrepreneurship video game, but Maxwell reported they often had a target to increase past their first push-by way of pizzeria in South Zanesville.

He stated support he has received alongside the way from his moms and dads, organization consultants and his associates all worked collectively to get Maxwell’s where it is now. Now with locations in South Zanesville and McConnelsville, Somerset will now be the property of the third.

To be a little organization owner, there have been a whole lot of trials and failures, Maxwell acknowledged.

“Back then it sounded like a aspiration and it was easier said than accomplished, now that we’re actually hoping to do this things, we actually realized it’s a whole lot more durable than it appears to be like,” he claimed. “But it’s all superior — would not want to be executing everything else.”

ecouch@gannett.com

740-450-6752

Twitter: @couchreporting

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