In 2021, Doc Spartan and Spartan Solutions Group announced plans to expand their businesses in Scioto County, Ohio. With an investment of over $120,000, the company modernized its manufacturing process. The purchase of new equipment and machinery was supported by a JobsOhio Inclusion Grant of $50,000.
Doc Spartan is a veteran-owned business that manufactures small-batch and handcrafted essentials, such as soaps, scrubs, deodorant, oils, skincare, and more, using natural ingredients. Doc Spartan HQ is located in Portsmouth Ohio, where founders Dale King and Renee Wallace were born and raised. The company has experienced steady growth since its launch in 2015, from Renee making natural products in her kitchen for members of King’s gym, to a company that was featured on Shark Tank and in national media.
Spartan Solutions Group is a packaging, small parts machining, and warehouse operations business.
With all of their products being handmade, the process was very labor-intensive and expensive. The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant allowed Doc Spartan to purchase the equipment needed to increase production efficiency and train additional employees.
“The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant was instrumental in helping us expand our business lines by allowing us to procure the necessary equipment,” said co-founder Dale King. “We used the grant during our start-up phase to procure the machinery, which in turn allowed us to offset rent and train our employees.”
The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant assisted the company during a crucial phase of their development during expansion. Since receiving the grant, both companies have added two new, full-time employees and additional lines of revenue.
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. King believes this grant is a valuable tool for businesses in Southeast Ohio.
“It’s tough starting a business in southern Ohio, especially during these economic times,” said King. “For us, we have a mission of hiring people in substance use recovery which is equal parts rewarding and challenging. This Inclusion Grant was vital in allowing us to help train our employees and provide them the necessary equipment they need to be successful on the job.”
King and Wallace co-founded Doc Spartan with the goal of helping people heal their wounds. While the products themselves help heal physical wounds, their mission was to help the community heal, too. In 2018, they developed the principle of Neighborhood Internal Defense to help combat the opioid epidemic in Portsmouth. At first, Renee taught yoga and Dale led CrossFit classes to clients in treatment at a local non-profit addiction treatment center.
Meeting with people in recovery, King and Wallace saw that getting sober was only one step. Employment and a safe and supportive environment are crucial to a full, lasting recovery. The first employee they hired was someone in the post-addiction recovery process, facing homelessness. As the company grew, it continued to hire people on the comeback trail from addiction.
“The growth of our companies is directly tied to the personal growth of our employees and the town of Portsmouth,” said King. “We’re grateful to JobsOhio for investing in our success.”
If you are a small business looking to expand your production, reach out to a member of the OhioSE team today!
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.