Column: Hamilton wins with people like this business owner

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Josh Sellers is not just any Hamilton small business owner, but he’s like a lot of them.

A significant number of Hamilton’s small businesses reinvest profits back into their businesses, but many invest those profits into the community. Many of those are in the downtown, Rossville and Main Street business districts, and beyond.

Though Sellers isn’t in that corridor, he’s followed a similar playbook. A rising tide lifts all ships.

Nearly two decades ago, Sellers got his start selling used cars just a few blocks north of the current Auto Express location at the corner of Dixie Highway and Bobmeyer Road. He had a business plan that’s probably not recommended these days, or really then ― not a lot of money and even less knowledge ― but he had the drive and determination to be successful.

The success came because he’s a firm believer that profit is a good word, and the playbook he follows is giving back. Food drives and coat drives are just a few things he does for the community.

“I love giving back,” he said. “That’s the first thing I do with every paycheck that I get. I teach my children that, I take a lot of pride in it.”

And the more success he finds, the more he can help because he knows his support has a “tremendous impact on a lot of nonprofits and charitable organizations in Butler County.” And Sellers’ success is growing today as the Auto Express campus straddles both sides of Bobmeyer Road, and he’s expanding further with what he calls a “beautification project” at the corner of 3000 Dixie Highway.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Sellers has seen a lot of success as he not only moved into his current location about a decade ago, but has since expanded his auto dealer campus to both sides of Bobmeyer Road.

This past week, he had 1,000 backpacks that sat in one of his garage bays for his annual giveaway later this summer.

“I grew up on the lower end of the financial spectrum, but my mom always found a way...I was never in need of a backpack,” he said. “I can’t imagine needing one and us having the ability to help somebody out.”

That work is what earned him the 2023 Ohio Quality Dealer of the Year from the Ohio Independent Automobile Dealers Association (Ohio IADA), Now, he goes in late June to Las Vegas to represent Ohio in the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

Sellers hopes he’ll earn the organization’s national dealer of the year among the other state IADA, which are used car dealers that also give back to their communities. That room will be filled with good people and good vibes.

But regardless if he comes back with that national title (but we’re pulling for him), all corners of Hamilton continue to win with people like Josh Sellers.

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