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New Area Businesses

Typically, people use the new year as a time to start a new business venture. But one local development organization says they’re seeing people get a head start this fall.

JARI, a non-profit which helps to grow and establish companies throughout the region, has had an influx of people reaching out to grow or start their business this fall. Jake Fleegle, an entrepreneur coach with JARI, says he was surprised to have so many people reach out to him given the pandemic. However, after nearly a year of COVID and summer over, Fleegle says people are getting back to business this fall.

“Everyone wants to be their own boss everyone wants to be their own business and even though the world has kind of turned upside down it’s actually presented a lot of opportunities,” said Jake Fleegle and entrepreneur coach with JARI.

Three veterans in Portage are among the many who have decided the time is now to grow their business. Andy and Vince Golden alongside Matt Sinosky have taken their CBD business beyond their hemp field to a storefront in downtown Johnstown. Over the last three years the entrepreneurs have sold CBD products from their business Innovative Extracts online and at their farm. Now their products can be purchased at their shop on Vine Street.

“The skepticism has decreased significantly. When we first came out with products people couldn’t differentiate between medical marijuana and CBD. CBD gives you all the health benefits without giving you the high,” said Matt Sinosky co-owner of Innovative Extract.

Instead of closing signs in store windows Andy, Vince and Matt say they hope soon more will read ‘new and open for business.’ The business owners say they believe Downtown Johnstown is a particularly good place for people to open a store. Since Innovative Extracts has opened downtown they say the response from the community has been great.

“People are coming here and purchasing and we’re re-investing in the local economy, we’re buying local products as we upgrade our facilities. The majority of the money stays in the area,” said Vince Golden co-owner of Innovative Extracts.

If you’re interested in growing your business or starting one, you can reach out to JARI for help.

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