EAST LIVERPOOL - Despite losing their downtown locations inside of the Mezzanine Town Mall, several businesses have resolved to continue conducting business elsewhere.
Dave Marshall, owner of the Mezzanine Town Mall and Coffee Fusion, announced last Friday his business as well as the Mezzanine itself would be closing, leaving the other businesses housed there with no choice but to find another location from which to operate.
For many of the business owners, finding another location will take time, especially since collectively leasing space in the Mezzanine made for an ideal arrangement for many of the small businesses.
"It's going to take a while for all of us to find new locations because this was so much of a cooperative effort," said Carrol Walton, owner of Carrol's Corner Custom Framing. "None of us are big enough to rent a store ourselves so we're trying to find something we can share."
Despite the difficulty of re-establishing their business in a new location, Walton, like many business owners in the Mezzanine, have no intention of calling it quits, even if that means temporarily shutting down until they can find another location.
"We've been doing custom framing for 50 years, and we know how it should be done," said Walton, noting she and other business owners have received calls from a small, but loyal client base wanting to know how they can still patronize them after the Mezzanine closes.
Linda Haustman of LJ Cline and Associates was fortunate enough to obtain a new location for her business not far from its previous location downtown. Haustman is currently doing business at 115 West Sixth St., and says that after 23 years she has no intention of closing her doors.
"My business has had a long history in East Liverpool," said Haustman. " I plan to continue to comply with all the IRS' qualifications and even exceed what is needed as far as the IRS is concerned and do everything I can possibly do when it comes to accounting, payroll and taxes."
Other business owners have been less fortunate in terms of finding another location for their business but are no less resilient. Katie Blake who owns Kiddo's, a children's clothing store formerly housed within the Mezzanine, says she has not yet found another location for her business. In the meantime she says customers can reach her at 330-385-7700.
In fact, several businesses have temporarily closed until they can find a suitable new location.
The owners of Mitzi's Bookshelf, which specializes in new and used books of all kinds, are shutting down until they can find a new location, according to Walton.
Owner of the Mezzanine Trading Post, Aaron Hook says that business is on hold while he tends to other ventures. He hopes that in the future people will pay more attention to the downtown.
"This town has a lot of potential, but it seems to be neglected a lot," he said.
Dinah Carpenter, owner of Tee Party Inc., says she hopes to find a new location for her custom T-shirt business in downtown East Liverpool, but in the meantime she will continue to do business when and where she can. She will continue to be at the Rogers Sale on Fridays in building B and continue to sell her hand-dyed T-shirts online at teepartystore.com.
"If customers are local, we're more than glad to find somewhere to meet with them to save on shipping," said Carpenter.
Two business owners intend to make arrangements to temporarily stay at their current location inside the Mezzanine until they can find another location.
Rob McClain of Rob McClain's Downtown Styling and Gifts says he will remain at his current location for as long as three to four months while arrangements are made to move the business elsewhere. McClain noted the phone number for his business remains the same should any of his patrons want to reach him.
Jane McMillan, manager of the Mezzanine's flea market, says she will remain open for this week only.