Local Businesses Vie For Prize in Start It Up Nelsonville

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Five Nelsonville businesses have entered a competition for a $10,000 prize that will help them develop and grow.

The prize is being offer by Start it Up Nelsonville, a competition that aims to attract new business to Nelsonville and increase foot traffic to the Public Square.

The deadline for businesses to join the competition was March 15 and five submitted entries, with each providing a business plan and video. They will pitch their proposals to a panel of judges, and the $10,000 prize can be used to start or expand a business.

Included in the five entries are:

• 1st Choice Cab Rental. They would use the money to created a cabin rental welcome center and store at 104 E. Canal St., according to the submitted video. The store would feature locally produced products and also items needed by their renters and other visitors to Nelsonville.

• Fullbrooks Cafe. Under new ownership since 2013, the business has outgrown its current space at the Dew House and the owners have their eyes on 37 Public Square, which would give the cafe more than four times its current space. That would allow the cafe to put in a full kitchen and expand its menu and hours, according to the cafe’s video. The grant would help with that expansion.

• Multiple Brewing Co. The partners in the brewery are in the process of setting it up at 82 W. Washington St. The brewery will be able to produce two barrels of craft beer at a time, but winning the $10,000 would allow expansion to more than 15 barrels, according to the company’s video. That would allow more people to be employed and allow the company to expand its sales area.

• Murray’s Landing. The canoe and kayak livery is in the process of opening a new facility at 701 W. Washington St., near the roundabout. In addition to offering canoeing and kayaking on the Hocking River between Haydenville and Chauncey, there are also plans for primitive camping, the company’s submitted video explains.

• QuickLoads. This company offers a patented system for quickly loading cargo containers onto trucks. The business is located on West Canal Street, where it develops and builds it products, according to the company’s video. The prize would allow the company to expand and create jobs.

The five companies will be offered coaching services to help them prepare their pitches to the panel of judges. The panel will consist of representatives of Start it Up Nelsonville sponsors: Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce, Rocky Community Improvement Fund, Hocking College, EdMap and OhioHealth; and include representation from the community. Baird Stuart Foundation also is a sponsor.

Presentations to the panel are slated to take place in mid-May.

Videos submitted by the companies in the competition can be seen at

Start it Up Nelsonville also includes a storytelling opportunity for local youth in grades 10-12. The top three finalists were chosen recently, and two have elected to go on to the next step of turning their essays into videos. The three finalists — Alison West, Alisa Kelley and Emily McCulloch — each received $500. Their essays also are on the website.

West and McCulloch will partner with Tri-County Career Center students to create videos that present positive images of Nelsonville. The group with the best video will win an additional $1,500 to share.
Athens County Economic Development Council and Rocky Brands partnered to bring Start it Up to Nelsonville.