Sunday, February 16, 2003

Tristate business notebook

City hot line shows small business matters

A 24-hour referral service for small businesses is the latest resource offered by the city of Cincinnati's Small Business Division.

The Small Business Matters Voice Line is an automated voice mailbox designed to refer customers to agencies or city departments that can provide assistance. Small-business owners can ask questions or express concerns at any time, and will receive responses from the appropriate department or agency.

"The Voice Line is just one part of a comprehensive plan to better serve small businesses," said Alicia Townsend, manager of the Small Business Division. She added that one of the division's goals is to connect new and established business owners with sources of financial, technical and business support.

The Small Business Matters Voice Line can be reached at 352-3971.

Hamilton seamstress relocates to 3rd Street

A professional seamstress has resumed her custom stitchery at a new location.

Sandra Carter, owner of Sandra's Sewing Nook, was formerly on Central Avenue in Hamilton. She placed her venture on hold for a year, then reopened in late January at 346 S. Third St.

Carter creates custom draperies, slipcovers and other fabric home decor pieces and also makes repairs. She is available for alterations as well. She learned her craft from her aunt, who maintained a sewing shop for many years in the same Hamilton neighborhood.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday by appointment. Information: 893-8300.

Nominations sought for small business awards

Nominations for the 2003 Small Business Success Awards are being accepted by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. To qualify for award consideration, a business must have completed three or more full years of operation, be locally owned and operated, have fewer than 100 employees and annual sales of less than $5 million.

"Besides the positive publicity and recognition that comes with being a winner, completing the application can be a fantastic business evaluation tool," said Karen Bishop of Cartec Engineering Corp., chair of the chamber's annual Small Business Celebration and winner of the 2002 Success Award in construction/trades.

The nomination deadline is March 7. Applications will be sent to all nominees, to be completed by April 21. An application preview program will be held March 26 to enable nominees to talk with past winners and to get assistance in completing the application. Chamber officials stressed that applications are completely confidential and winners are selected by an impartial panel of judges.

Information: (859) 578-6397 or

Car wash company adds location in Fairfield

Fairfield is the newest Cincinnati area location for Mike's Express Car Wash. The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company has three other conveyor car wash operations locally - in Springdale, Deerfield Township and Cherry Grove.

"When we were considering the different possibilities for our newest Cincinnati location, we decided the Fairfield area would offer us the most convenient location to best serve our customers," said Mike Dahm, vice president of operations.

Mike's features an automated exterior wash service with options such as wax and undercar wash. It has several stations where customers may clean their car's interior.

The new business is at 4025 Acme Drive, adjacent to Ohio 4, one mile south of Jungle Jim's.

Information: 860-2392 or

Center focuses on personal development

A range of personal development services is the specialty of a new Mount Auburn business.

The Conscious Living Center, at 114 Wellington Place, provides everything from career coaching to acupuncture and fitness training.

"Our mission is conscious transformation of body, mind and heart," staff member Lin Heald said. "When clients come to the center, they receive an initial evaluation that assists them in identifying goals and objectives for conscious transformation."

Under the management of founder Deborah Ooten, the center is a group of individual practioners who offer professional counseling, massage therapy, family and parenting counseling, career coaching, Reiki, psychiatric services, health education, personal training, acupuncture and Chinese herbology. Ooten has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is an occupational therapist and trained craniosacral therapist.

The business office of Conscious Living Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Services are by appointment. Information: 621-3600 or


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