Middletown will help food truck business add location, kayak business expand offerings

Middletown City Council on Tuesday approved a pair of Small Business Entrepreneurial Assistance grants to help new businesses with start-up expenses.

One grant was awarded to BAAB’s Kayaking, 2401 Carmody Blvd., for $5,000 to cover permit fees and insurance costs with the Miami Conservancy District to enable access to the exit the Great Miami River near the Middletown Regional Airport.

Co-owner Karen Richardson said the grant will help put more activity on the river. She said many of their customers said they are awaiting the opening of the new bar and bistro planned for the business.

Chris Xeil Lyons, city economic development director, said in her report to council that the business also plans to add bike rentals in the future.

“We feel this project is very important to improve the quality of life, tourism, and perception of Middletown, Ohio,” Lyons said. “Canoes and kayaks had a 279% growth in registrations from 2006-2018. The City of Middletown alone has 909 active hand-powered boats registered to 598 Middletown residents.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Lyons said this business has the potential to serve our community and bring visitors to Middletown. She said the applicants have a business plan, site visit, and pre-development meeting and have met all of the requirements for the grant.

Council voted 4-0 to approve the grant, with Mayor Nicole Condrey abstaining due to her friendship with Richardson.

Council also unanimously approved a $6,000 grant for Brent and Kelly Dalton, owners of Brent’s Smokin’ Butts & Grill LLC, who are planning to open a brick and mortar business at 1206 Central Ave. in downtown Middletown with plans to serve lunch and dinner.

Lyons said the Daltons plan to invest $60,000 into the facility, equipment, and payroll and have been able to operate debt free up to this point.

“We have offered them a $6,000 three-year forgivable loan to be used for startup costs. We will waive $2,000/year for each year they are in operation,” Lyons said in her report.

She said a requirement of this assistance is meeting with the Butler County Small Business Development Center and developing a business plan, which they have completed.

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