Chenango County residents are taking the plunge and opening new businesses every day. No one knows this better than Deputy County Clerk Dale Leach and the rest of the staff at the Chenango County Clerk’s Office.
The number of new business owners who walk through their office on the second floor of the County Office Building fluctuates greatly each month, said Leach. But they are there for the same reason: To establish themselves as either a sole-proprietorship or partnership by filing a DBA.
A DBA literally means “doing business as.” These certificates are required under Section 130 of New York State’s General Business Law for anyone “conducting business under an assumed name or as partners.” Entrepreneurs who organize as a corporations, limited liability companies or limited liability partnerships are not required to file DBAs.
“The DBA is a legal document and we encourage prospective business owners to contact their attorney,” said the deputy clerk. For those who choose to act as their own legal counsel, blank DBA forms can be purchased at most office supply stores or obtained from a Chamber of Commerce.
According to Leach, the clerk’s office is prohibited by law from giving any type of legal advice. A tri-fold brochure details the filing process, which involves searching for duplicate names and having a DBA form signed by a notary. There is also a $25 filing fee and a charge of $5 for each certified copy of the certificate.
In July and August alone, more than 35 new businesses have formed in Chenango County. Here is a sampling of ventures that have opened their doors over the last few months.
The Coffee Press, 20 N Main St., Bainbridge
Amy Nieves loves coffee, so it will probably come as no surprise that, when contemplating a new business venture, she decided to open a coffee shop. Not that The Coffee Press is just any old coffee shop.
With walls lined with local artwork and a cozy window reading nook, the shop could easily be at home in a more urban setting. But the Press’ Main Street location in Bainbridge suits Nieves and her patrons just fine.
“Bainbridge really needed good coffee,” said Nieves, who co-owns The Coffee Press with somewhat-silent partner Dale Losee. According to the coffee aficionado, she was into all things culinary even as a child. Over the years she has amassed a wide variety of coffee-related pieces, a collection which she plans on displaying in the shop. But it was her first French press coffee pot, which she received under the tree one Christmas, that got her hooked.
It is this press brewing method that she sought to introduce to the Bainbridge community when she opened the shop on Aug. 2.
In addition to French press and drip coffee, The Coffee Press offers prepackaged muffins, candy and snacks. Fresh local baked goods should be coming soon, said Nieves.
“Bainbridge is a great place to open a business,” said Nieves, who admits there has been a learning curve. The new business owner said the guidance and assistance she’s received from her fellow business members of the Bainbridge business community has been invaluable. In addition to words of encouragement and advise, one local antique dealer even gifted Nieves with a number of coffee cups to help fit out the shop.
The Coffee Press is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 7:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Metal Fabricating of Pharsalia
Whenever economic development budgets are discussed, Supervisor Dennis Brown points to garage-style, start-up businesses as the backbone of Chenango County’s future. He’s particularly proud to have Metal Fabricating of Pharsalia in his town.
Owners Darrell and Leslie Wood’s business has been up and running since 2002 on state Rt. 23 just across from the North Road. Employing three people, the shop’s workers weld and fabricate flood-protective doors, gates and lifting rings. Presray Corporation of Dutchess County purchases the products from Wood’s and equips them with water tight, inflatable seals.
A recent order for doors found their way to a children’s hospital in Texas, Wood said.
Darrell previously worked for 21 years at Presray Corporation. His wife, Leslie, is a bookkeeper. The two applied their education, skills and work experience to creating the successful enterprise in Chenango County.
Darrell said he moved his family from Pauling to Pharsalia because he wanted land and animals for his children. “I wanted our daughter to have what I grew up with. It was more affordable up here,” he said.
The Goody Bag, 76 Genessee St., Greene
Chenango County’s fine food lovers need to look no further than a tiny shop in Greene for their gourmet delights. From delectable chocolate truffles to fancy mustards, gourmet pastas and savory sauces; The Goody Bag offers a selection of products to meet even the most demanding patron’s palate.
“This has been a passion of mine for a long time,” said Beth Browning, who opened the store in early August with her husband Joshua.
“It was a challenge,” said Browning of selecting the right mix of products for the specialty store. After months of diligent research, the first time business owner has stocked her shelves with a combination of both well-recognized gourmet brands and local products.
Items from lines by Stonewall Kitchens, D.L. Jardines and Republic of Teas share shelf space with local honey and jewelry handcrafted by a local office. Private labeled items appear as well, such as The Good Bag Blend of coffees roasted for the store by Java Joes of Binghamton.
Assembling gift baskets and bags for patrons is a specialty of the shop. In fact, it was a gift bag which gave Browning the idea for the store’s distinctive color scheme of rich chocolate brown, spring green and powder blue.
Baking is another passion of Browning’s, one she said was acquired from her mother. The shop owner is looking forward to adding fresh baked goods like cookies and breads to her offerings.
Browning would also like to grace her freshly painted walls with works of local art. She hopes to find a local artist to take her up on the offer of displaying their wares in the shop.
Attendees at this Saturday’s Greene Applefest will have an opportunity to receive a 10 percent discount on purchases with coupons given out at the ballfield during the event.
The Goody Bag’s doors are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Wise Guys Redemption Center, 163 County Rd 13, South Otselic
After observing the community and seeing how far residents in the South Otselic area have to drive to return their redeemable bottles and cans, Edward Carson and Dalton Marshall decided to open a redemption center in their home town.
Wise Guys Redemption Center, located at 163 County Road 13 in South Otselic, has only been opened for about a week, but Carson said, the owners were surprised with the number of cans and bottles they had taken in so far. “We put a sign up the week before we opened, and Dalton’s grandparents and our family members have spread the word,” Carson said.
“We take 99 percent of the brands of soda and beer out there,” Carson said. The business, which is operated out of Carson’s garage, offers customers the standard five cents per can. A truck arrives at the redemption center once a week to take the cans away. “There’s no limit on the number of cans we’ll take,” Carson said.
Wise Guys Redemption Center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 to 4:30 on Sunday. They are also available on an appointment basis by calling 653-7401.
Cafe Inc., 10 Mechanic St., Norwich
“A good cup of coffee and the best cheesecake around.” That’s what business owner Al Collins said will keep people coming into his new business, Cafe Inc.
After moving from New Jersey to Arizona to Norwich, Collins decided to channel his experiences into a new business that he hopes will bring people together in a comfortable setting. The cafe, which offers a light menu in addition to an array of drink and smoothie choices, is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Collins said he is working with local bakers to provide organic muffins, vegan bagels, and snacks like brownies and doughnuts. Already the shop carries food items produced by local businesses like Doughnut World in Oxford and Amazing Grains in New Berlin. “We’re customizing to the customer and getting what our customers want,” Collins said.
The business owner said he is trying to make the cafe business friendly. The site not only provides free wireless Internet access, but also has two computers which can be rented for $3 per half hour. A fax machine and stamps are available as well for a nominal charge, said Collins.
In the cafe, Collins has also posted the hours for the Guernsey Memorial Library, to ensure that customers know the library offers free use of the Internet.
The business owner said he plans to add additional events and menu choices to the cafe within the next month. Cafe Inc. is located at 10 Mechanic St. in Norwich.
Those interested in starting a small business are encouraged to attend 2008 Entrepreneur Forum. The event, organized by Brower Communications and Commerce Chenango, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus.
The forum is being co-sponsored by NBT Bank, The Voss Group, The Evening Sun, Norwich-Sidney Pennysavers, Anderson Consulting, the DCMO BOCES Adult Education Program and the Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University.
For more information on the event, contact Brower Communications at 334-7526 or visit www.chenangoforum.com.