Local businesses to talk about “Rising from the Ashes” of Union Street Fire

Austin Ambrose
November 7, 2016

Rising From the Ashes FlyerLocal businesses affected by the 2014 Union Street fire in Athens will talk about “Rising from the Ashes” at a public event hosted by the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship on November 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Jackie O’s Public House.

Six local businesses will be represented at the “Rising from the Ashes” event: Union Bar & Grill, Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, Jack Neal Floral, Uptown Dog T-Shirts, Bobcat Rentals and Honey. The spokesperson from Honey was the former manager of Kismet, a business affected by the fire that is now closed. After refreshments and a chance to network, the panelists will discuss how the disaster affected their businesses and how they coped with the aftermath and then the floor will be open to attendees’ questions.

“Any time that you have a real-life experience that you can look back on in hindsight, is always a better learning experience than a hypothetical situation,” Allison Weber, assistant at Jackie O’s, said. Weber also noted that Jackie O’s likes to be involved in community education.

Bruce Reede, manager at Jackie O’s, said how amazing the community outreach was after the fire. It was unique and a little overwhelming, but it showed something about the character of Athens, how people wanted to give money, time and their condolences. Now they have the opportunity to look back and learn about the experience with many other businesses that were affected.

Part of the Center for Entrepreneurship’s mission is to bolster the entrepreneurial culture by educating and nurturing developing ventures in southeast Ohio. Through “Rising from the Ashes,” current business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will gain a greater understanding of how to prepare for a disaster.

“It’s an opportunity to think about the two-year anniversary of the fire and how businesses get through such difficult times,” Dr. Luke Pittaway, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, said regarding the innovative program.

The event falls during the Center’s participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). The observation spans 69 countries, and is full of events and activities highlighting the power of entrepreneurship. The CE at Ohio University is a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.