Have you been to Bellefontaine lately?

If you haven’t and you’re a small business owner or investor, it’s time to plan a little road trip. In recent years, our team has worked tirelessly to turn a stagnant, worse-for-the-wear downtown into a vibrant, bustling model for other small towns across the country. Once a commercial vacuum, our beautiful historic downtown is now being featured in the national press.

How did this happen in little Bellefontaine Ohio? Because we didn’t just improve the buildings and hope for the best. Instead, we strategically redesigned the downtown experience, recruiting the right mix of businesses to bring in customers and the right support system to ensure success. We have created an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it works.

We think you might be the right kind of person to join our successful business community. Please consider this your personal invitation to visit us in Bellefontaine. Come see what all the fuss is about and learn why Bellefontaine is the better choice for small business.

We’re looking for people just like you.

As we continue redevelopment and revitalization efforts in Bellefontaine, we’re searching for existing small businesses with plans to grow; those who may be looking to expand, or even people with great entrepreneurial ideas to join us in Bellefontaine’s bustling downtown community.

You should give yourself a little pat on the back because if you are reading this, we’ve done our research about you and your potential. We don’t hand the keys over to just any type of business, you see. We want to make sure that whoever joins us downtown will add to the successful recipe we’ve already begun.

We’re looking for retail merchants, restaurants, hospitality, service professionals, or event venue businesses who will add to our rich and diverse community of small business entrepreneurs.

Our goal at Small Nation is to continuously elevate the Downtown Bellefontaine experience. By working together, our combined offerings and abilities will amplify our ability to attract out-of-town visitors and bring more local people downtown, more often and for longer periods of time, every day.

Lots of downtown love.

They call us Ohio’s most lovable downtown for a reason. Throughout the calendar year, a consistent stream of downtown events brings visitors from throughout the Columbus region to our downtown area. People (your potential customers) enjoy food, drink, shopping, and fun, then tell their friends and come back for more again and again.

A business with built-in support.

We like to say that Small Nation develops places, spaces, and dreams for small towns and small-town entrepreneurs, but that’s not all. While most companies like ours stick to the physical spaces, we have a different definition of what the word “development” truly means. In our world, you can’t develop an area unless you also focus on the development of people.

We’ll do everything we can to help you get started on the right foot in Bellefontaine and provide guidance and advice along the way.

We’ll work with small business owners from the beginning to find the right space, and we have even helped connect some with potential financing,* designed their spaces, positioned their brands, and promoted their business concepts.

One of the most powerful things about running a business in Downtown Bellefontaine is that we’ve studied the current and potential consumer base for over a decade, so we know exactly what works here. We can help you design your business to capture that market effectively. No guess work.

At Small Nation, we take small business success seriously

So seriously, in fact, that we have created a special program to help guide our downtown businesses. The Small Biz Success™ Blueprint provides a range of solutions to help small businesses thrive. Just one more reason why Bellefontaine is better for small business.

We create locations. Have a concept that will further elevate and add support to Downtown Bellefontaine? We love that so much that we’ll not only help you find a building, but also guide you through branding, the design of your interior and the facade of your space.

We help you pre-market. We help new Small Nation tenants get the word out to the public as quickly as possible by providing window announcement signs for pre-opening visibility, a press release in the local news, blog/social media posts, and our quarterly newsletter

We help you with signage. People need to be crystal clear about where a business is located. We work with our tenants to create highly-visible, maximum-impact facade or window signage so they stand out in our bustling downtown atmosphere.

We offer photography & video programs. Photography and video are some of the most powerful ways to connect with potential customers, and Small Nation has some of the best resources in the area available to our tenants

We offer affordable advertising. Small Nation’s connection with the Town Money Saver can place a downtown business in the mailbox of 16,000 households throughout Bellefontaine and Urbana, amplifying its exposure in a truly big way

We can make you visible. There are few advertising channels that are more effective, and more affordable dollar-for-dollar than billboards. COMSTOR Outdoor, a Small Nation Company, guides tenants in the creation of boards that reach thousands of potential customers daily.

We can coach you toward growth. Once a business is open, Small Nation tenants have the opportunity to work with our team one-on-one throughout their business journey in Bellefontaine. We offer ongoing guidance about every aspect of business, from daily operations to growth, scaling and beyond

We make existing in your space as easy as 1-2-3.

We’ve worked hard to make the process of moving into your new space as seamless and easy as possible. Upon signing a lease, you’ll be presented with our tenant welcome package, which includes all of the necessary information you’ll need to get set up with speed and ease.

From a list of county vendors’ license requirements and the local utility companies to what to do if you lose your keys, we make sure you have all the necessary information at your fingertips so you don’t have to waste precious time searching and can focus on opening with strength.

Small Nation even offers the ability to pay your monthly rent by automatic withdrawal or via an online portal, so it’s one fewer box to check on your to-do list every month.

Our team is only a phone call away if you need assistance in any way.

Big-city culture with a small-town lifestyle.

Bellefontaine is a small town but its vibrant cultural scene brings big-city flavor and big-ticket names to town.

A shining example of this is the Holland Theatre, an iconic landmark that has been a centerpiece of the community since 1931. In recent years, The Holland has hosted CeeLo Green, Don McLean, Kylie Frey, and Dave Chapelle, just to name a few.

The Holland Theatre’s cultural offerings aren’t just limited to entertainment. They also foster a sense of community among the residents by providing a common space for people to gather, interact, and share experiences. This enriches the social fabric of Bellefontaine, making it not just a place to do business, but a place to thrive, engage, and feel a sense of belonging.

Life in Bellefontaine is exciting and real. And that means big things for small businesses.

What we believe

At Small Nation, we’re passionately committed to the revitalization of Downtown Bellefontaine. We believe in breathing new life into our historic downtown, transforming it into a vibrant hub of community interaction, commerce, and culture. We see every brick in our downtown as an opportunity to ignite positive change, and we’re thrilled to be part of this exciting journey.

We’re not just believers; we’re doers. We believe in the power of small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit to invigorate our downtown area. Through investment, development, and support for local businesses, we’re helping to foster a downtown that’s not just thriving but also inclusive, diverse, and full of opportunity. At the heart of it all, we believe in our community.

We’re proud to be part of Bellefontaine and are committed to creating a downtown that reflects our unique spirit and character. We believe that revitalization isn’t just about buildings – it’s about people and creating a place where everyone can feel at home. We are Small Nation. And we’re building big dreams in Downtown Bellefontaine.