Mantua celebrates economic revival with mass ribbon-cutting ceremony – Record-Courier

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Mantua celebrates economic revival with mass ribbon-cutting ceremony – Record-Courier

While many downtowns are working to figure out how to bring people and businesses to the area, the Mantua is celebrating an years-long, ongoing econom

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While many downtowns are working to figure out how to bring people and businesses to the area, the Mantua is celebrating an years-long, ongoing economic revival.

More than 30 businesses were celebrated last week during a ceremony organized by the Mantua-Shalersville Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Christine Pitsinger said the event represents a lot of work by business owners and the people of Mantua.

“There are so many people out there with so many ideas, and they want to start a business or add things to a business, and our people have the energy to do it,” she said. “These are 31 either new businesses or businesses that have changed what they’re doing or made significant improvements to their businesses.”

 More: New businesses flock to Mantua despite COVID-19

Lisa Drenski of Corners Catering & Event Center is located at 11845 Route 44, just outside the village, but she said Mantua is a good economical choice for a business looking for a downtown in which to grow. 

“I feel like economically it’s a good move, better than somewhere like Chagrin Falls or somewhere you’re going to have to pay higher rent or property taxes,” she said.

The village’s support of its businesses also is exceptional, she added.

“The support they show is just out of this world; it’s crazy,” she said.

Mantua Mayor Linda Clark said the village’s success in attracting business expansion during a global economic downtown is the product of years of work. 

“All of us working so hard together have tried to make this happen,” she said. “It’s just been the hard work by lots of people.”

About 60 people attended the mass ribbon-cutting on May 22, including representatives and supporters of the businesses being recognized, she said. 

Clark said downtown is starting to remind her of the bustling Mantua of her youth.

“Saturdays now downtown are kind of like they were when I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s,” she said. “We almost need a police officer down there to help people cross the road.”

The village also is well positioned, just south of Route 422 and just north of the Ohio Turnpike, so some traffic comes from those sources, she added. 

Pam Holliday and Doug Hershman, owners of Breakaway Excursions, take advantage of a far older, watery byway. 

The company, which celebrated moving its Mantua operations down to the riverfront, rents kayaks, but they don’t stop there, they said. 

“We do instruction, as well,” said Holliday. “We do special events; we do parties; we do team building.”

Hershman hosts a 6:30 a.m. lake paddling workout at LaDue Reservoir, and the pair also creates kayak excursions with riverfront fine dining, complete with white table cloths and china, she said. 

Holliday said the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation has been vital for the village’s resurgence.

“The DMRC has a huge role in trying to bring back the business community, and the chamber has, as well,” said Holliday. “Edie (Benner), the president, started DMRC and has been trying to bring the community back. We bought into Mantua for that potential small downtown feel. It has the potential to be another Chagrin Falls.”

More: Creating a welcoming downtown in Mantua

Benner said the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corp., in cooperation with the chamber and others in the community have gradually worked to improve downtown. Bike racks, flowers, the creation of a mini park next to Restoration 44 Coffee, a new mural next to another public green space and other changes have all come together to help create a downtown more appealing to pedestrian shoppers over the years. 

“Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corp. has been around 13 years trying to revitalize downtown, and we’ve met regularly and worked with the village on grant acquisition to improve the parks, the headwater trail and activity along the Cuyahoga River. as well,” said Benner.

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Clark said the DMRC, chamber and Lions and Rotary clubs have been the organizations at the forefront of improvements downtown, and they’re supported by many individuals doing their part for the downtown.

“All of us are working so hard together to try to make this happen,” said Clark. “It’s just a lot of hard work by a lot of people. I could list the names, and it would probably be almost as long as the new business list. It takes a village and everybody working together to make this as nice and as good as it can be.”

Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, bgaetjens@recordpub.com an

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