NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) — An area church is using their newly purchased building to help small businesses thrive.
The Gate Church in North Lima is using their newly purchased space to boost the local economy.
“We see being owners and landlords of this building as an extension of our ministry,” said The Gate’s lead pastor, Gary Mariano.
What once was South Range Elementary and High School is now home to “the Shops;” a place where rent is cheap so small businesses can grow.
“Our business is picking up everyday we’re here,” said Flex band performance and training gym strength coach, Jim Hartzell.
Hartzell said this location and space is perfect for what they do and encourages other stores to check it out for themselves.
“If you’re looking for a place that’s safe, easy to get in and out of, come to and the people are easy to work with, you’ll be in the right place. Come on in and find a room and go to work,” Hartzell said.
Other shop owners like Christine Hoffman agree.
“I like the location, the pricing is very reasonable for a retail space for a start up business. I ran my company out of my house for the last couple of years in a ten by ten space,” said Hoffman.
“More people are constantly coming in so when you’re a new business it’s getting the word out there we’re all growing, we’re all trying to make our business grow, and we all try to help each other here,” added fellow business owner Nichole Rogers.
Mariano noted that everyone benefits in some way.
“The whole intent was to be able to use this to draw people in, meet community needs at the same time being able to help people with their businesses create an income for themselves and their families as well,” finished Mariano.
More than 30 businesses are currently open, and there’s still about a dozen rooms available to rent.