Panel discussion discusses small business issues in Lima
LIMA — The city of Lima has organized a series of business roundtables to meet the current needs of the community. The city’s restaurants, industry, retail and construction companies have had the opportunity to focus on what matters.
On Thursday afternoon, City of Lima Small Business and Workforce Development Specialist Amber Martin hosted a panel discussion with local retailers and service providers.
“We are looking at what will be needed. That’s why we have conversations like this today,” Martin said. “What do you see, what do you need, what thoughts do you have that we may not have so that we can meet those needs?”
Business owners Matthew Sanders of Spotless Professional Cleaning Services, Michael Kleman of ServiceMaster, Chad Stearns of Modo Media, Marc Bowker of Alter Ego, Jasper Person of CLEAN, Caroline Denise Lawrence of Emerge Services, Jennifer Velasquez of Boutique de Pointe of Joy Dance and entrepreneur Rob Hec were on hand to share their ideas.
Many business owners shared the challenges they faced trying to move forward post-pandemic in 2020. Some owners experienced an increase in services due to additional government revenue. Some have not experienced any change due to the type of service they provide.
Bowker expressed hope for greater walkability in the city center. The owners agreed that the lack of foot traffic in downtown stores was due to the businesses being located blocks from each other.
Martin said she hopes to continue to be a central contact for small businesses in the city of Lima and implement new ideas from the roundtables.
“It’s (her role) to be that champion and that voice within the city, county and state for the city of Lima,” added Martin. “Going out and advocating for the city of Lima, for small businesses. That’s why you should come here. It’s what’s good for our home and how we can make the best of it.
Bowker thanked the city of Lima for supporting small businesses in the region.
“I commend the mayor for creating this position and filling it with someone and taking an active interest in small business,” Bowker said. “There has to be that interest at the city and county level as well. Not just nonprofits that are member-based and member-driven. We need this city and county involvement if we are to grow together.
Contact Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.