Business & Finance

Plant Crafters' last sale: Liquidation auction to be held April 1

The Plant Crafters era in Westlake is over. After 30 years on Center Ridge Road, the Burnett family decided to close their garden center and retire.

Known for their high-quality home decor and gift items, owners Molly and Bruce Burnett will miss the generations of customers they served. "Plant Crafters was a labor of love," said Bruce. "We truly enjoyed providing our buyers with items you couldn't find in the big box garden stores."

A live public auction will be held on Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m., to liquidate everything remaining in the Westlake store. Items include nursery stock and related horticultural items, firewood, a forklift, vintage and antique furniture and thousands of home and gift items.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:09 AM, 03.21.2017

Extended-stay hotel opens in Westlake

After a multi-million dollar renovation the "reimagined" Sonesta ES Suites is now open for business in Westlake. Mayor Dennis Clough and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce participated in their grand opening and ribbon cutting event held on Jan. 12. The 104-suite extended stay hotel offers all the comforts of home for an affordable price. With studio and two-bedroom loft suites to choose from with full kitchens, wifi and free parking, these rooms are perfect for long-term visitors. A complimentary daily breakfast, evening social hours three nights a week and barbeque grills are just some of the added bonuses available to the guests.

Companies bringing in people for training, families building a home or anyone looking for a weekend away will find this complex inviting. Catrenta Davis, director of sales, said, "Our team is so excited to show off our beautiful new suites!" After the ribbon-cutting, tours of the property were given and lunch was available to all the guests. Staff from the Sonesta ES Suite Cleveland Airport, also newly renovated, helped welcome visitors to the open house. The Westlake property can be found at 30100 Clemens Road.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:38 AM, 01.24.2017

Burntwood Tavern holds guest bartender fundraiser

Burntwood Tavern in Crocker Park has a very giving relationship with Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. It wasn't enough to make a donation to the Clinic for every gift card that is sold this holiday season; they also held a special night of guest bartenders to give more.

Crocker Park's vice president, Tina Roberts, and their marketing director, Dan Crandall, joined the West Shore Chamber of Commerce's executive director, John Sobolewski (aka Santa), as the guest bartenders for the Dec. 8 event. All tips brought in during the two-hour event went directly to the Children's Hospital fund.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.13.2016

Oral surgery practice develops vacant land on Crocker Road

North Coast Jaw & Implant Center, the longtime practice of Dr. John Blakemore and Dr. William Blood, will move to Westlake after 39 years of practicing in North Olmsted. Dr. Raymond Plona joined the practice in 2013 and Dr. Gregory Plona joined in 2015.

“The practice has grown and we were in need of a larger space,” said Dr. Blood. “The new location will give us the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art facility, while focusing on providing the quality patient experience that our office strives for and that all of our patients deserve.”

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:42 AM, 11.29.2016

Year-end tips for financial housekeeping

As we enter the end of the year, there are many things on people’s minds. Sure, there are the upcoming holidays, but there are many financial decisions that must be addressed. I’ve put together just a few for you to consider:   

  1. Make sure your tax payments are done.
 Believe it or not, if you have to pay estimated income tax, many communities will penalize you if it’s not paid by Dec. 31.

  2. Review your wills, trusts, and beneficiaries on accounts
. You want your money going to the people or organizations you choose, right? This is especially important if you have children under the age of 18, because you want to make sure money and belongings you leave for them isn’t caught up in the courts. In a trust or will, you can also make sure the money is spent the way you want it spent and when you want it spent. 

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Volume 8, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.01.2016

Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty opens flagship office in Westlake

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough joined the West Shore Chamber of Commerce to participate in a ribbon cutting and grand opening party for the new Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realty office last month. Invited guests participated in group tours of the office in The Atrium building on Detroit Road and enjoyed a champagne toast and catered buffet.

Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies merged operations with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in January 2015 and this marks the second namesake office in Westlake this month. This location will be home to the Relocation Department, Luxury Division, Commercial Division, Corporate Administration and the Westlake agent base.

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Volume 8, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.01.2016

Business is booming in Westlake

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed several new businesses to the city of Westlake, all offering something new to the residents. Our first event was Sept. 22 at the Holiday Inn Express on Clemens Road, with residents and guests enjoying a lovely grand opening party and ribbon cutting. Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough, Chamber Executive Director John Sobolewski and General Manager Cynthia Eckrich joined the hotel owners in a champagne toast to the new hotel and then officially opened the doors. This full-service hotel offers a variety of room sizes, swimming pool, exercise area and a full breakfast.

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Volume 8, Issue 19, Posted 8:59 AM, 10.04.2016

West Shore Chamber enjoys perfect day for golf outing

Aug. 8 turned out to be a picture perfect day for golf for the members of the West Shore and Fairview Park chambers of commerce. This year's event, benefiting the scholarship funds for the Westlake, Bay Village and Fairview Park school districts, was held at the Avon Oaks Country Club.

Since 1979, the West Shore Chamber has been supporting the school district education fund through their golf outings. Five years ago they joined forces with the Fairview Park Chamber to hold a joint annual event to fund a college scholarship for three students. The school districts served by the chambers – Westlake, Bay Village and Fairview Park – each receive a donation to their education fund in order to offer scholarships. Tens of thousands of dollars have been donated over the last 35 years.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:15 AM, 09.07.2016

Westlake business owner graduates from Tri-C’s Goldman Sachs program

Rachael Ekey of The Markey Group in Westlake took a step toward greater business success by completing the Goldman Sachs "10,000 Small Businesses" program at Cuyahoga Community College.

Ekey is one of 31 small business owners in the program’s latest graduating class. She spent 14 weeks at Tri-C studying a specialized business and management curriculum designed for entrepreneurs.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:14 AM, 09.07.2016

GK's Custom Polishing hosts networking event

Grant Alexander, owner of GK's Custom Polishing, hosted his fifth Power of More after hours social in as many years for over 200 chamber of commerce members. The event offered a variety of food from local restaurants from Panera Bread and Famous Dave's to Jersey Mike's subs and Chick-fil-a North Olmsted. Bartenders attended to the liquid refreshments and there were several opportunities to win prizes and cash. Music and MC duties were handled by Kenny Gilder and the DJ Company.

Alexander is an active member of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce and hosts this free event each year in his large showroom. When he is not hosting a party this temperature controlled area is used to take quality care and maintenance of Natural Stone, Tile & Grout, Autos, Boats, Motorcycles, Jet Skis and RVs.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.19.2016

Chamber of commerce business showcase April 21

The West Shore chamber, part of the Power of More chamber networking group, will take part in the 2016 Business Showcase on Thursday, April 21, from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park. The Fairview Park chamber will host this year's Showcase with 70 businesses from the six local chambers in the Power of More. 

This annual show will highlight many of the local businesses that are part of the Chamber of Commerce and offer lots of information, advice and freebies. Several local restaurants will also be on hand to offer food samples and prize opportunities from the vendor donations.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.19.2016

Cleveland Water quality report is available

At Cleveland Water, we know our drinking water is essential to the quality of life of more than 1.4 million people in 80 communities. That’s why we are committed to providing our customers with safe, high-quality, drinking water that is available at the turn of a tap any hour of the day.

Our water is constantly monitored and tested. In fact, Cleveland Water consistently exceeds the most stringent water quality standards mandated by Federal and State water regulations, and last year was no exception.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:12 AM, 04.05.2016

Bonefish Grill joins Crocker Park and the West Shore Chamber

Bonefish Grill is the latest new restaurant to open up at the fast-growing Crocker Park. As the newest West Shore Chamber of Commerce member they took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Dennis Clough before opening to the public on Feb. 22. The restaurant chain was founded in 2000 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and specializes in market-fresh fish from around the world and many wood-grilled specialties.

The 6,352-square-foot restaurant features a spacious dining room with a large bar area including three large community tables and an outdoor patio that seats approximately 50. Overall, the restaurant has a seating capacity for approximately 260 patrons. The main dining room showcases a bonefish sculpture made of stainless steel and sequined scales while the atmosphere features a contemporary blend of warm earthy tones, golden hardwood accents, natural materials and metallically embellished wood flooring.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.01.2016

West Shore Chamber celebrates Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday was celebrated in style at the Montrose Jaguar dealership with a Mardi Gras party for over 250 people. This event featured wonderful Cajun-style foods from Augustino's catering and wine tastings from LA Dick Imports. A Dixieland Jazz band entertained members from 10 different Northeast Ohio chambers of commerce.

Panera Bread received the Power of More Business of the Year award. Ashley Gay accepted the award on behalf of the company.


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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:33 AM, 02.16.2016

West Shore Chamber members network over bagels

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce joined the Power of More for a speed networking opportunity that drew 90 people to the event. Bagels and Business Cards is held twice a year at Montrose Kia in Sheffield Village to give chamber members an opportunity to network with other chambers in a fast-paced event. One side of the table sits and the other side moves every 4 minutes so everyone has the opportunity to meet as many people as possible. 

This event brought in the largest group ever and included additional chamber members from the Lorain County Chamber.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.02.2016

West Shore Chamber changing of the guard

Over 100 people attended the Chamber of Commerce luncheon held at the Doubletree by Hilton as Westshore Chamber President Susan Uranker turned over the reigns to Jim Chilemi. Uranker, marketing director at Brookdale Senior Living, has served as the chamber president since 2014. Chilemi, a Bass Ohio realtor, began his term as the new president during this lunch. 

Uranker is not going far, however, as she will serve as secretary this year, joining Tina Roberts as vice president and Mark Getsay returning as treasurer. New board members were also introduced, Elizabeth Beard from Dave & Buster's and George Hihn from Residence Inn/Emerald Event Center.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:55 AM, 01.19.2016

Westlake company sponsors Kent State student's trip to Costa Rica

TRG, a hardware solutions provider in the data collection and barcode printing industry, will be sponsoring a local student’s educational co-op trip. Jake Budde, a botany major from Kent State University, will be traveling to Costa Rica from Dec. 27 to Jan. 16. Focusing on exploring the intersections of mycology, entomology and botany, Budde will be experiencing tropical ecosystems firsthand to enhance his education and strengthen his career path.

Budde is a Kent State University senior scheduled to graduate in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in botany. He currently interns as an assistant greenhouse technician at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron where he cares for exotic and domestic plants. He is also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Kent State Biology Club and the Environmental Conservation Group.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:03 PM, 12.23.2015

Chamber members enjoy year's final networking breakfast

The final "Business Before Hours" networking breakfast for 2015 was hosted by Peter & Co. Jewelers in Avon Lake. West Shore Chamber members joined this joint chamber event in order to make new connections and increase their business opportunities. Guests enjoyed a hot breakfast and one lucky person, Trey Bell from PuroClean, walked off with a $250 jewelry gift certificate for the store.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:48 AM, 12.01.2015

Burntwood Tavern opens Crocker Park location

Westlake’s trendy dining scene got a boost of rustic elegance on Nov. 2 as Burntwood Tavern opened its doors in the former Champp’s location in Crocker Park. The 8,000-square-foot, 250-seat space has been revamped with a blend of rustic woods, elegant hand-blown glass lighting fixtures, and a modern copper-topped bar.

“This space is an ideal location for serving our straight-forward, classic dishes as well as our signature cocktails. We’re excited to bring our total dining experience to our guests in Crocker Park,” said Bret Adams, founder and CEO of Burntwood’s ownership company, Chef Art Pour Restaurant Group.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:06 AM, 11.03.2015

Miami Nights brings sizzle of South Beach to Westlake

Bringing the fine dining and high-energy nightlife of Miami Beach to the shores of Lake Erie, Miami Nights Grill, Bar & Lounge opens Friday, Nov. 6 at the corner of Columbia and Sperry roads in Westlake.

The hybrid restaurant/nightclub is a steakhouse by day, serving USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef as well as seafood and pasta dishes, and a party destination by night. After dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the space transforms into a club with a sophisticated light and sound system and a DJ playing dance music with raised dance platforms scattered throughout and lit from underneath.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:08 AM, 11.03.2015

Rue 254 opens in former Winking Lizard

Owner Peter "Taki" Diamatis recently opened the doors to his newest restaurant, Rue 254, with a ribbon-cutting and open house. The former Winking Lizard has been completely renovated and resembles a comfortable home atmosphere complete with TV's in every room. They pride themselves on using fresh ingredients from local farmers as well as decorating the space with a variety of paintings from local artists.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.20.2015

Make connections at Rocky River Chamber of Commerce business expo

The Rocky River Chamber of Commerce proudly presents its 13th annual Business Expo on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 2-7 p.m. at the Don Umerley Civic Center, 21016 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River. You are invited to attend this lively event to network with business owners and individuals who offer products and services in the area. Admission is free when you present your business card.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 2:00 PM, 10.01.2015

West Shore Chamber gives away car

Sept. 9 was the day West Shore Chamber of Commerce members have been waiting for all year. As part of the Power of More, members had the opportunity to add an entry into the Kia Optima drawing every time they attended a Power of More chamber event during the year. 

This all came to a happy close for one lucky member at Montrose Kia in Sheffield, who donated a three-year lease on the car. A variety of other prizes were given out as well, but the new Optima went to Fairview Park Chamber member Eileen Donahue. All members enjoyed cocktails and delicious food while enjoying another great evening of networking.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:03 AM, 09.15.2015

O'Neill Healthcare offers community education

One of the many services offered by O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village is to provide health education programs to the community. We do this by hosting many events throughout the year, both on our campus and at the local senior centers. 

Last month our director of physical therapy, Kris Maiorca, presented a program on achieving positive outcomes from hip and knee replacement. The program was held the Westlake Center for Community Services, to an audience of over 50 seniors.

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:53 AM, 09.01.2015

Westlake banquet center marks 50 years

Opened in 1965, at the corner of Bradley and Center Ridge roads, Wagner’s of Westlake is celebrating 50 years as a catering facility. At that time, they were one of only a small number of banquet centers located in the United States. Today, Wagner’s has hosted more wedding receptions than any other banquet center in western Cuyahoga County.

Many of their guests began frequenting Wagner’s when they attended their prom at the facility and then went on to attend corporate events, bridal showers, fundraisers, and of course, wedding receptions  “What is really wonderful is when a mom comes in with the bride and groom and tells us she had her own wedding reception here,” says Mary Crawford, director of events.

Wagner's anniversary was acknowledged with proclamation from the city of Westlake.

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:45 AM, 09.01.2015

Business community welcomes new teachers

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce held their annual Teacher Luncheon on Aug. 11 at LaCentre in Westlake to welcome the new educators joining the Westlake and Bay Village school districts this fall.

The Education Committee, co-chaired by Andrew Mangels, director of Westlake Porter Public Library, and Nancy Ralls, career development coordinator at West Shore Career Tech, presented welcome bags containing items donated from Chamber businesses to 20 Westlake teachers and nine Bay Village teachers. The teachers’ lunches were donated by St. John Medical Center.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.18.2015

Westlake and West Shore Chamber celebrate dental office opening

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough joined West Shore Chamber Executive Director John Sobolewski for the July ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of Dental Care of Westlake on Center Ridge Road. Dr. Steven Woyat, his family and staff invited guests inside afterwards to see the new office and enjoy some refreshments.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:47 AM, 08.18.2015

Chamber members enjoy a day on the links

Avon Oaks Country Club was the venue for this year's West Shore/Fairview Park Chamber golf tournament on Aug. 10. This joint effort between both chambers raised money for the scholarship funds for Westlake, Bay and Fairview Park school districts. 

Thirty foursomes began their scramble with a shotgun start and a delicious box lunch. Throughout the course there were various local sponsors who offered treats, snacks and even a massage from their sponsorship holes. There was no lucky hole-in-one winner this time to take home the new car prize. A brief rainstorm midday brought out the umbrellas but also cut the humidity. 

The day ended with a wonderful dinner and many great prizes that went out to some lucky golfers! Grand prizes were a flat screen television, a Kindle and $1,000 cash. Many other prizes went out from the generous donations of chamber businesses.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:42 AM, 08.18.2015

Westlake cobbler receives industry's highest award

Glenn DiMauro of The Italian Cobbler in Westlake has been honored by his peers and awarded the prestigious Robert DiRinaldo Grand Silver Cup from the Shoe Service Institute of America. The top prize in an international competition, the Grand Silver Cup has been the most sought-after prize in the shoe repair industry since the 1930s.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:38 AM, 08.18.2015

West Shore Chamber welcomes new hotel to Westlake

Over the course of 14 months and several million dollars, the hotel at the corner of Crocker and Clemens roads has gotten back its gleam. The transformation of the former Holiday Inn into a Doubletree by Hilton was ceremoniously completed July 10 with a ribbon cutting and open house event.

“When this hotel originally came into Westlake, it truly was the jewel of the West Side. It is again!” Mayor Dennis Clough exclaimed, before thanking the hotel’s ownership group for reinvesting in the city.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 10:11 AM, 07.21.2015

Networking takes off at Power of More event

On July 15 about 200 members of the Power of More, including West Shore Chamber of Commerce, gathered on the observation deck of the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant for an evening of networking on what turned out to be a beautiful and sunny evening.

Members from six different chambers had an opportunity to meet people doing business in other areas and make new connections. Even Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough came by to join us!

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:17 AM, 07.21.2015

Westlake fitness store prepares beginners for May in Bay 5K

For those who have never participated in a 5K, the prospect can seem daunting. The answer for some may be found at Fleet Feet Sports, which opened last August in Westlake’s Jefferson Square plaza. The store sells running and walking shoes, insoles, accessories and many other fitness products, but considers education as their No. 1 product.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:39 AM, 03.03.2015

Bay Village resident named a VP at Magnificat High School

Director of Alumnae, Director of Events and most recently, Senior Director of Student Life and Parent Engagement, are a few of the titles Mrs. Julie Sims Gibbons has held at Magnificat High School during her 18-year tenure. The 1980 Magnificat alumna is now the school’s first Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:44 AM, 03.03.2015

Business networking event to be held Feb. 24

Business and community leaders of all types and sizes are invited to attend "Bagels and Business Cards," a before-hours business networking event from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce. On Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 8-9:30 a.m., enjoy networking and a bagel breakfast at Palace Business Centres, Suite 100, 24650 Center Ridge Road in Westlake.

This event is free to all business owners, managers and sales executives and no RSVP is required. All that is required is a desire to network with other business leaders to grow your business and of course, a lot of business cards. There will be drawings and prizes, including a free Palace Business Center office for a month and an Amazon gift card.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:09 AM, 02.17.2015

Westlake Animal Hospital welcomes new doctor

Dr. David Love is very pleased and excited to welcome Dr. Allison Riedl into the Westlake Animal Hospital family. Dr. Riedl was born and raised in Cleveland Heights. After graduating from Hawken, she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Case Western Reserve University in 2001 and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 from The Ohio State University. She continued her education through a small animal internship at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in 2006-2007.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:06 AM, 02.17.2015

RITA to hold taxpayer assistance session

The Regional Income Tax Agency is offering help to all taxpayers who are required to file a municipal income tax return for any RITA municipality with free taxpayer assistance events across the state. The Northeast Ohio regional session will be held Tuesday, March 3, 1-7 p.m., at North Ridgeville City Hall, 7307 Avon Belden Road.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.20.2015

Bay Village stylist moves to Fairview Park salon

With a family lineage tracing her barbershop roots back to Italy, the newest addition to Rockport Barber Styling, Marie Simeone, is blending that heritage with her love for "All things Cleveland" to create a welcoming environment for all ages. A trip to Marie's chair at Rockport Barber Styling in Fairview Park's Ohliger Drug Store complex promises to be more than just a haircut.  

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:38 AM, 12.09.2014

Support small, local businesses this holiday season

There are several reasons why shopping with small businesses and supporting them on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29 is important. First off EVERY big business started small. Before Target was a chain, it was a single store in Minnesota. McDonald's started out as a food stand near an airport. Every business starts with a single location, product or idea. As the companies grew, expanded and multiplied they changed, becoming more generalized, less personalized and focused on each individual customer and their needs, wants and desires.

When was the last time you went into a big business as they were closing and they stayed open for you, the clerk volunteered to research a product or service for you that the store did not carry, or the owner commiserated with you over an illness or death in your family?

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 9:40 AM, 11.25.2014

New Bay agency offers insurance, financial planning

On Oct. 1, 2014, my team and I launched the Brad Larson State Farm Agency at 654 Dover Center Road, in the Dover Commons of Bay Village, where the previous agent, who is now retired, had a 39-year history with the Bay Village community. 

We now have the honor of providing both existing and new clients the comprehensive insurance and financial solutions that will protect valuable personal and business assets, and provide guidance in meeting financial goals and dreams.

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Volume 6, Issue 22, Posted 9:25 AM, 10.28.2014