City moves to keep century-old business DowntownWritten by Myndi Milliken | | email@example.com
City officials are scrambling to keep a 128-year old business Downtown.
Roulet Company, a small, family-owned jewelry manufacturing and sales company that has been located in the heart of Downtown since 1877, reported it is considering moving its business out of Downtown or closing its business forever.
”Downtown business stinks,” said Gary Wahl, Roulet’s owner. He said the rising costs of doing business prompted the action.
Two members of City Council, Bob McCloskey and Betty Schultz, organized a meeting shortly after hearing the business was meeting with a Realtor to discuss plans for selling. They met early Wednesday morning with shareholders of Roulet and City officials.
”They agreed to take the store off the market for now,” McCloskey said. ”We are doing everything we can.”
Roulet has been on St. Clair Street for eight years. It was previously near the Valentine Theatre, but relocated when the Valentine underwent reconstruction. The company sells custom-made jewelry. Eighty-five percent of its business is producing hand-carved Masonic emblems.
”There’s no place in town like this,” said Carl Wisniewski, who has been a patron of the shop for nearly 25 years.
”Small businesses are the heart of a city,” said 40-year customer Jerry Gill. ”When you get rid of the small businesses, you get rid of the city.”
Wahl said the City has given them some options and is researching ways it can afford to stay Downtown. He said it was unclear at this time if the company will stay.