Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Department store concept falls $38,000 short of goal

CAREY, Ohio — An effort to raise enough money to launch a community-owned department store in downtown Carey has fallen short by about $38,000.

Organizers behind Carey Mercantile hoped to secure $300,000 from local investors to open a 5,000-square-foot store selling men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories on Findlay Street in downtown Carey.

Steve Zender, the man who heads the Carey Mercantile board, said Tuesday the board sold 525 shares at $500 each. Officials needed to sell at least 600 shares to move forward with the project.

State regulators had given them a little more than a year to sell shares. Time ran out Saturday.

Carey, a village of about 3,600 people, is approximately 60 miles south of Toledo in Wyandot County.

Mr. Zender, the owner and publisher of Carey’s Progressor Times newspaper, said it was disheartening to get that close without reaching the goal.

“I really think those 75 shares, there were people to buy them. I think it was just figuring out how to reach them,” he said.

Because the offering fell short, those who bought shares will have their money returned.

A major streetscape project was recently finished in Carey, and a few new businesses have opened. Mr. Zender hopes one way or another the store’s concept will come to fruition.

A study commissioned by the board before the public offering began found the proposed store could be profitable.

“While I’m greatly disappointed in this, I’m really optimistic about the downtown,” he said.

Mr. Zender said the Carey Mercantile board is to meet later this week. It could consider alternative plans, though nothing is immediately in the works.

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