Business Boom in Rio Grande, Ohio

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- It's a big week in the little town of Rio Grande. Three new businesses have opened up shop in the last three days. For University of Rio Grande student Kheritha Shivers, Wednesday's convenience store opening was cause for celebration.

“We just got really excited when we saw the gas station was finally open,” Shivers said. “And we turned around. We drove past and were like, it's open, and we turned around and came back.”

When the town's only convenience store shut down last year, it was difficult for students like Shivers to find what they needed on campus. Now that JC's is open, she expects that to change.

“I think it's going to be a lot easier to get stuff you need,” Shivers said. “It's rough when you don't have a long break.”

“Today is our first day being open, and everybody in the community's been happy that we're back open,” store owner Jim Carpenter said.

Just down the road, Rhonda Pitchford's restaurant Honey Creek Barbecue Opened its doors, as well. Pitchford hopes her restaurant will help make Rio Grande a destination for people.

“Gives them something different,” Pitchford said. “I want my BBQ known all over the place. It's just a big financial financial boost to this area that we need.”

The village agrees.

“It means additional tax revenue for the village,” Fiscal Officer Jennifer Harrison said. “Additional traffic through town for the businesses.”

Right next door is the result of a village wide vote: location specific alcohol sales at Winston's Brew Through. Owner J.W. Sheets says he's thrilled to see Rio growing.

“It's really exciting,” Sheets said. “You see a lot of business popping up and Rio Grande, you know really, we're a college town. And we need new things to keep students engaged and really would like to see the city expand even more.”

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