POLAND, Ohio -- The newly formed Poland Village Business Association will host its inaugural event, a business walking tour, June 28 during Celebrate Poland. The group will set up a booth and the tour runs from Village Hall to Town One Square.
Jack Kravitz, owner of Kravitz Delicatessen and a founding member of the association, said that the event was created to showcase what Poland businesses have to offer.
“There had to be something we could do to bring interest and recognition to the village,” Kravitz said.
The tour will feature 15 members of the association, including Special Touch Hair Salon, Pathways Counseling, Home Savings and Loan Co. and Northwood Realty Services.
All stops will have giveaways and hold raffles. Among the prizes, the Martial Arts Training Center will give away a three-month membership as well as let people try their hands at breaking a board -- literally -- while Aebischer's Jewelry will raffle a pendant with Swarovski crystals and Allstate Insurance will give away a flat-screen TV.
Kravitz said that the group chose to make its debut during Celebrate Poland because, while it is a large event, the association saw a lack of local businesses.
“A lot of businesses from out of the area were being involved, but no one from Poland village [was involved in Celebrate Poland]. We felt we needed to say, 'We're here. We're part of this community,' ” Kravitz said. “Sometimes if you don't say [anything], you aren't going to be recognized.”
He added that the Celebrate Poland committee “embraced” the association's involvement.
Construction on U.S. Route 224 at Interstate 680 just west of the village has made it cumbersome for people to get to the shops, Kravitz said, mentioning a drop in the number of visitors to the library. Roadwork briefly blocked the entrance to Inner Circle Pizza last year.
“It was hard to get people to buck the congestion,” said association member Ron Eiselstein, owner of the Poland Village Pantry. “People still came out, but it took an effort and numbers were just down all summer.”
The association has 24 members, all within the village or Poland Township. All shops in Town One Square are part of the group, Kravitz said, but others in the vicinity have been reluctant to join.
“People haven't been approached by this kind of [group] in a long time,” he said. “A few businesses are skeptical and have yet to sign on, but we'll try to get to them to be involved.”
While the attendance for the tour depends heavily on the weather, Kravitz said, just having a booth at Celebrate Poland and giving people the chance to see the businesses involved is good.
“We're a fledgling organization. What's important is that we're getting [ourselves] out there,” he said.
Celebrate Poland takes place June 27 and 28, culminating in fireworks at Village Hall. Other events include a craft show, "Poland Idol" singing contest, a Parade and the annual strawberry festival at the Poland Presbyterian Church.
Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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