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Preston von Arx had spent a few years looking for a new office space for her business, ComForCare Home Care, but it was frequent trips to Tig’s Courtyard and other downtown destinations that led to the recent location from Brentwood to 117 Goldsboro St.
“I wanted something with natural light and a more open workspace, but I couldn’t find it. Once Tig’s opened, I started coming downtown more,” she recalled. “We were not up to do a full renovation, but when we drove by, the beautiful wood storefront and ‘for lease’ sign caught my eye.”
The two-story space was gorgeous, but she was initially concerned about the flow of the space for a business contingent on confidentiality in terms of working with clients and potential employees. With her husband and business partner Peter, the duo decided to make the downstairs a meet-and-greet space with the full kitchen for events. The loft and second floor are used as offices and for more private conversations.
“The location gives us a lot of street exposure with more people walking in, which is great in terms of applicants because there is a shortage of certified nursing assistants,” she said. “And it has been really good for publicity because so many people don’t know what a home care agency is or that we or any other agencies exist in Wilson.”
The local ComForCare franchise has provided in-home assistance for nearly 1,000 families in the past 17 years and employed more than 1,100 caregivers. Currently, the company has four employees who work in the office, two part-time registered nurses and 65 active caregivers providing as little as three hours a day of assistance to around-the-clock care.
“We provide personal care, so bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, meal preparation and so forth to help our clients live the best, safest life possible in their home, but it is much more than that,” she said. “Most of our clients have several chronic diseases and/or dementia, so it takes special people to have compassion and put themselves in the shoes of those they care for every day.”
Because ComForCare does not provide medical care, the services are often paid for out-of-pocket or covered with veterans benefits or long-term care insurance.
“Our business is cyclical and in August, our phones started ringing off the hook, which was sooner than normal. We usually get a lot of calls around Thanksgiving when people come home and see how much their mom or dad has declined and want to provide some more care,” von Arx said. “I think the bigger dividend will pay off down the road because we’ve made so many new business and personal friends, so if they need our services or have a friend who does, they now know we’re here.”
She said the community of downtown merchants is a major plus to relocating.
“We put our money where our mouth is by buying into the concept that downtown is not only back, but it is thriving,” von Arx said. “Downtown is going to be here for a while and so will we.”
Visit www.comforcare.com/north-carolina/wilson or call 252-243-4020 for more information.
Construct Inc. is celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary this Friday with an oyster roast and barbecue for current and past employees as well as friends and family. The Cargill Avenue company started on Miller Road in 1999, but relocated and expanded after a few years. Visit www.constructwilson.com/ to learn more about the company.
Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or firstname.lastname@example.org.