Austin Wheelock firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s no surprise that Oswego County is an excellent location for women entrepreneurs to create, relocate or expand their small businesses and succeed.
There are significant opportunities for business growth in healthcare, child care, retail, hospitality, specialty services, agribusiness and manufacturing sectors all across Oswego County and woman-owned companies have stepped up to help fill those needs. Oswego County also has many programs and initiatives to provide assistance to women entrepreneurs and small business owners including direct financing, tax incentives, business plan assistance, micro enterprise training, incubation space, and entrepreneurship competitions.
Operation Oswego County and the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency have had the privilege of working with many successful women-owned small businesses from various industries across the County and are proud to highlight 12 of them below that we have assisted in the past few years.
• All Source Fire Supply, owned by Holly House, is a certified woman-owned manufacturer of prefabricated and partially assembled components for fire suppression systems. In 2020, they constructed a new 3,100-sq.-ft. facility in the town of Hastings to meet the growing business’s needs. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA to support the new construction and equipment.
• Country Store & More, owned by Juanita Yerdon-Miller, is a motel and market business located in the town of Redfield. The real estate was purchased by Yerdon-Miller and renovations were made in 2022 to develop the hospitality business which serves the local residents as well as the seasonal tourism industry. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA.
• Eir Healing and Wellness, owned by Amanda MacDowell, is a full-service spa that began operations in 2021. The business is located in the town of Sandy Creek and the project involved the acquisition of the 4,000-sq.-ft. building in which they were occupying more than half of the space. The additional room allowed them to add new employees as well as host group classes such as yoga. The owner is a graduate of the micro enterprise training program. The business was financed by the COIDA to assist in the acquisition of the real estate.
• Great Bear Childcare, owned by Amy Boyzuck, is a full-service childcare business serving children from as young as 6 weeks to 12 years of age that began in the owner’s home. The owner is a graduate of the micro enterprise program which helped her develop a business plan and obtain financing through the COIDA. As the business grew, she made the decision to relocate and expand in 2019 to the village of Phoenix with financial assistance from OOC through a SBA 504 loan. The business currently has 10 employees.
• Greene Point Marina, owned by Cathy Goodnough and Cheryl Yerdon in the town of Sandy Creek, serves the recreational and commercial boating market on Sandy Pond and Lake Ontario. The business had substantial damages from lakeshore flooding back in 2019, but was able to completely rebuild in phases between 2020 and 2022 with financial assistance provided by OOC and the COIDA.
• Highland Animal Hospital, owned by veterinarian Alex Hawthorne in the village of Central Square, is a woman-owned veterinary practice. She is currently expanding the practice through the construction of 7,200 additional square feet and adding veterinary urgent-care to their services. The expansion is slated to be completed in summer 2023 will create an additional 14 jobs, nearly double what they have now. During National Small Business Week in May, Highland Animal Hospital was awarded the 2023 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year for the 34-County Upstate Region by the US Small Business Administration.
• Kathy’s Cakes & The Big Dipper Ice Cream, owned by Kathy Hotaling, relocated and expanded her bakery business in 2019 by acquiring the former “Big Dipper” In the town of Volney. The acquisition allowed Kathy to add the ice cream business to her bakery operations and added four jobs. In 2021, they significantly renovated the facility with financial assistance provided by the COIDA.
• Looking Glass Salon, owned by Danielle Osborne and Brianna Horton, began operations in 2020 in the village of Phoenix. It has recently expanded and more than doubled their space to now occupy 5,800 square feet in downtown Phoenix. Both owners are graduates of the Micro Enterprise Training Program. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA in 2021 to expand, renovate and acquire new equipment.
• Man in the Moon Candies, owned by Amy Lear, acquired and renovated a 6,000-sq.-ft. building in the city of Oswego to expand her chocolate candy business that started in 2005. Financial assistance was provided by Pathfinder Bank and an SBA 504 loan through OOC. During National Small Business Week, Man in the Moon Candies was awarded the 2023 Oswego County Small Business of the Year by the Onondaga Community College Small Business Development Center.
• Mother Earth Baby and Curious Kids, owned by Lisa Emmons, relocated to a larger location in the city of Oswego in 2021, to expand the cloth diaper service. The expansion added three new jobs. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA for equipment and renovation costs.
• 6 Acres Farm Brewery, started by Jenna Behling and Denyel Busch, was established in 2019, named after the six acres of land that the Behling Orchards farm originated on. The brewing company located in the town of Mexico, which produces fruit-infused beer with locally grown fruit and other New York state sourced ingredients. They are currently working on completing their tasting room which is slated to open in summer 2023 and at full production the business will create 25 jobs. Financial assistance was provided by OOC through the 2021 Next Great Idea Oswego County Business Plan Competition.
• Wunderland Wellness, owned by Juniper Dunlap, is a woman-owned start-up yoga and massage studio in the town of Scriba. The owner, experienced in the fields of yoga and therapeutic massage, is a veteran of the U. S. Air Force and a graduate of the Micro Enterprise Training Program. Financial assistance was provided by the COIDA in 2021 to support the business.
These represent 12 examples of the remarkable women business owners in varied industries we have worked with across Oswego County. These women are tenacious in their business endeavors and OOC and the COIDA are proud to be able to assist them as they grow their businesses, create job opportunities and make Oswego County a better place to live.
In addition to the women who are the owners of successful small businesses, there are countless others who hold leadership positions throughout many of Oswego County’s largest companies and organizations. Operation Oswego County acknowledges their contributions and is proud to support women in business.
Austin M. Wheelock, Certified economic developer (CEcD), is the executive director of Operation Oswego County, Inc. For more information, call 315-343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org.