How a local organization helps entrepreneurs boost their skills as new business filings skyrocket

The sawing and sculpting echoing from Chris Harvan’s garage help him chip away at the pain that he and his wife endured from so much loss. Harvan makes cremation urns, his business called Momento Memorials.

“The way that we coped with our loss was to create objects of art that memorialize the people that we loved and lost for the people around us,” said Harvan.

Unfortunately, a lot of Ohioans have lost someone in the past 18 months.

Harvan said what started as a small boutique business is now a company selling about 100 urns a month.

“If you know anyone who works in the death care industry, they’re just overwhelmed,” said Harvan. “There aren’t enough tools in place to handle this amount of deaths.”

With Harvan’s sales taking off, he sought out the assistance of JumpStart and took part in its 12-week educational program aimed at helping small business owners boost their skills.

“It really allows them to look at their financials, understanding their values and who their target customer is,” said Patty Ajdukiewicz with JumpStart.

Harvan graduated from JumpStart’s September class and said his sales have increased so much that letting go of his tech job later this year.

Generally, more people are starting businesses ventures in Ohio.

In July, Ohio reported 111,435 total new business filings so far in 2021.

In 2020, Ohio hit a record total of 171,073 business filings.

The same experts who taught Harvan said a lot more entrepreneurs are looking for help and education right now.

“We’ve noticed that historically when the economy and the job market goes down, the entrepreneurial drive goes up,” said Ajdukiewicz. “It really is connected to people having more time on their hands and trying to focus on their passion or dream project that they’ve had for a while.”

Story and video courtesy of News 5 Cleveland.

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