Sharon businesses using ARPA funds to expand


 The City of Sharon gave out more than a quarter of a million dollars of American Rescue Plan funds in an effort to revitalize the center of the city.

Six businesses received funds, some will use it to move into space downtown, others will use it to improve what they already have. 

The bakery, Sweet Sensations, received $10,000. Kristine Altenor joined her husband, Joseph Altenor, at Haitian Sensations restaurant and added her own space to work on desserts. 

“He does the cooking, I do the baking and I can do anything from a cup cake to a wedding cake and then cookies,” Kristine said. 

She’s been getting so many orders that they need to expand. 

“I was in a very small confined area so I really couldn't even do a lot of volume because I didn't have the space,” Kristine said. 

They will be using their money to get industrial equipment, more shelves and refrigeration so Kristine can roll out as many goodies as they want. 

“It's unlimited to me what she's able to do, so I am excited to see her grow,” Joseph said. 

The bigger space will also allow her to hold bigger events. Sweet Sensations offers decorating classes for children and adults at their location 76 Shenango Avenue. More information on classes can be found here.

Another business, ICG Hobbies and Games is also using ARP funds to expand. With $8,000 from the city, they have renovated their second floor into a war gaming space. 

“This space, it is such a transformation,” Tom Vaughn, Co-Owner of ICG Hobbies & Games said about the space that was previously used for storage. “It all looks great.”

The ten tables are set up for games like War Hammer, Marvel: Crisis Protocol and BattleTech. Vaughn emphasized that anyone can come in and play the games. 

“These games are hugely popular,” Vaughn said. “We get about 12 people every Thursday night and we have tournaments on the weekends that get around 20 people.”

ICG is open 7 days a week at 62 W State Street. They have staff on hand to teach people how to play any of their games and also have painting stations for people to paint their models. 

“We hang out, we enjoy ourselves and this space is for the community,” Vaughn said.  

Both businesses have been contributing to the success of downtown Sharon for almost 10 years and are excited to grow as a whole. 

“The money is great and it's nice to put it back into the community,” Vaughn said.

“When I moved here in 1989 this town was booming and now it's on the rise again and a lot of great things [are] happening in Sharon so we are excited to be a part of that to grow with the town,” Joseph said.  

Allie's Sweet Tooth received $25,000 and will be using the funds to open their first store in the city at 46 E. State Street. Daffin’s Candies received $45,000 and will upgrade the building's exterior at 496 E. State Street. Niko and Lou's Coney Island received $17,500 and will be updating the facade on their building at 44 W. State Street. Winner Development LLC received $150,000 and will be finishing phase II of their renovations of the former Westinghouse plant site. 

The City of Sharon received $14 million of ARPA funding and they have nearly a quarter of that to allocate. 

© Copyright 2000 - 2024 WorldNow and WFMJ