East Liverpool Cuts Ribbon for 11 New Businesses

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – Starting a business is never easy, and getting one off the ground during a pandemic poses an entirely different set of hardships. But that didn’t deter 11 enterprising new business owners who were recognized Friday with a group ribbon-cutting.

The Southern Columbiana County Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to welcome the businesses that opened in this city within the past year.

“We are really excited to have this many new businesses open over the past year. We want to highlight them and celebrate them,” said Lisa Blasdel, executive director of the chamber.

Mayor Greg Bricker also praised the new business owners. “It takes a leap of faith to start a business, and to do it in the middle of a pandemic is something special. Pat yourselves on the back,” he said.

Traditionally, the chamber would hold separate ribbon cuttings for each of the 11 new businesses, but those events were curtailed because to the pandemic.

Bricker, who owns a financial planning firm on Market Street, said, “It’s great to see people downtown. We have some momentum in the city.”

The mayor related how a resident stopped him a couple weeks ago to ask what was going on downtown because “there were cars everywhere,” which is not typical after 5 p.m. on a weeknight.

“But that’s become kind of a typical thing with the new restaurant and new businesses,” he said. “Thanks for choosing East Liverpool.”

Chamber President Marcus Trelaine introduced the business owners or their representatives.

“It’s small enterprises like these that are responsible for almost all economic development in America,” Trelaine said. “It is the potential for economic growth that provides the basis of sustainable development and the pathway to the future we all want: Happiness, prosperity and safe well-being for all our families and friends.”

According to Trelaine, there is “more potential for economic growth in East Liverpool and the surrounding regional area now than there has been in the past many decades.”

The businesses recognized Friday included Darlene’s, Needless Things, Nana’s Primitives, Tri-County Cab, The ZipPost, Clothing Boutique, Renovatio’s Tap Room and Restaurant, Vintage Nook, Orchard Grove Originals, On Demand Counseling and Wise Buys Carpet. 

Kelly Joyce, clinical director at On Demand Counseling, which opened a Calcutta office in 2018 and moved downtown in June, said her company is ” excited to be part of the community.”

The clinic offers mental health and substance use counseling.

Vintage Nook owner Mary Lawrence said vintage items are sold in the store and thanked her customers. “We’ve been here a year and they’ve proven they like us,” she said.

Elaine Hissom spoke for the owners of Nana’s Primitives, which opened and then expanded into larger quarters during the past year. The shop offers handcrafted items.

Renovatio’s, which opened in the historic Potters Bank and Trust, was represented by co-owners Craig Cozza and Randy Schneider, with Cozza saying the business now employs more than 60.

“Not many open a restaurant in the middle of COVID, but we did, and it started thriving from the beginning. It has been super well supported by the community,” he said. “Our people are community people. We absolutely love it here. We look forward to doing a lot more.”

Having been in the cab business 27 years, Linda Allen of Tri-County Cab said her business is here to serve the community and she looks forward to it growing, saying, “I can’t wait to see how far it goes.

A recent business acquisition was the purchase of Wise Buys Carpets by Eli Murphy, a third generation contractor who said he plans on switching up the long-time Fifth Street business by adding more hardwoods, ceramics and kitchen designs. 

Murphy said he has nine children and had lived in the Grand Canyon and Montana before moving to East Liverpool 12 years ago.

“We fell in love with East Liverpool. That’s why we’re here,” he said. 

Darlene’s sells store buyouts from such retailers as Target, Walmart and Harbor Freight at lower cost, and its owner, Darlene Vantilburg, welcomed customers to “make your way here and check it out.”

Cody Gillespie said The ZipPost is an advertising company “trying to grow our community” by offering graphic design, web design, commercial prints, business cards and the like. 

Paint and sip classes, children’s parties, custom furniture refinishing and other custom work is offered at Orchard Grove Originals, owned by Rhonda and Matthew Coleman. 

Chris Morey of Needless Things said simply, “We sell things you don’t need” at his downtown location. 

Friday’s ribbon cutting was held immediately before the start of the monthly First on Fifth event featuring vendors and live music on Fifth Street downtown.

Mayor Bricker reminded those in attendance that the final First on Fifth for this year will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 and the ELCPR’s Jazz Fest will take place downtown Aug. 14. 

The chamber’s Blasdel offered the chamber’s thanks to Carriage House and the New Castle School of Trades for their assistance with the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Pictured at top: Mayor Greg Bricker and Lisa Blasdel, executive director of the Southern Columbiana County Regional Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon Friday to welcome 11 new businesses into the city of East Liverpool.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.