Keeping dollars closer to home—that’s the goal of an expansion project announced today by Chillicothe Fire & Security, Inc., located in Green Township (Ross County).
Chillicothe Fire & Security, in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), and the Greater Chillicothe and Ross County Development, unveiled plans to grow its sprinkler and fire suppression business by expanding to a larger production facility.
Chillicothe Fire & Security is a woman-owned business specializing in fire and protective solutions. Its fire protection business is 100 percent commercial. Much of the fire suppression work being performed in the area is being done by out-of-state and out-of-region firms. Thus, the expansion will represent a way of keeping dollars closer to home.
Second-generation owners, Larry and Angie Lochbaum purchased the company in 2014 from Angie’s parents Dick and Clara Kutschbach, who purchased the company in 1987. With 28 years of experience in the fire and security business, Angie Lochbaum said the company will be adding DIY security and camera services so that customers can install their own equipment while still receiving high-quality customer service. Lochbaum estimates her firm will be investing more than $140,000 and eventually will create eight new jobs. Currently, the company has 10 employees.
“I’m so thankful I learned about the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant, and it was the right time. When I bought the business nine years ago, we had this vision of expanding,” said Lochbaum. “Before COVID-19, we started looking into bigger spaces to rent. When the world shut down, we decided that was a sign we should wait. But this spring, years later, I was in my office checking email and I saw the announcement about Hometown Threads, and I thought it might be a way we can expand the business and offer these services to our community.”
“We have the experience, we just needed help making it happen. Everyone at OhioSE was so helpful, and it was a very quick and easy process,” she said. “We have moved into our new location at 1404 Delano and will now be able to hire more people and offer sprinkler inspections. We will have new recharging stations for fire extinguishers and a DIY storefront for security and camera systems.”
JobsOhio supported the project with a $50,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant and Ohio Southeast Economic Development assisted the company with the grant process. The Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development Department is offering Opportunity Fund support to the company.
“Chillicothe Fire & Security seized an opportunity to diversify their services and increase their market share,” comments Tammy Eallonardo, Director of Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development. “This family-owned, Ross County employer has been a staple in our community for years and we appreciate their continued investment.”
The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant exists to provide financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state.
“Chillicothe Fire & Security is an excellent entrepreneurial success story for Southeast Ohio,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “Angie has much to be proud of and has set the bar high for the industry. We and our partners at JobsOhio welcome the company’s continued growth in service and impact in Ross County.”
Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) is the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, providing economic development work and resources in 25 rural counties; they are the newest and geographically the largest of the six regions across the state. OhioSE partners closely with regional development districts, local economic development offices, state agencies, and other entities to expand, retain, and attract businesses in the counties they serve.