Home Cryptocurrency New pet boutique in Beaver, bitcoin mining in Midland & more

New pet boutique in Beaver, bitcoin mining in Midland & more

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Biz in the Valley is a monthly roundup of business happenings in the Beaver Valley and beyond. To submit an item, email [email protected]

Celebrating “Gotcha Days” will be a bit more festive this spring when downtown Beaver’s newest pet boutique and dog bakery sets up shop on Third Street.

Wags on 3rd is expected to open this April at 531 Third St., renting space in the former home of Courtney-Laughlin Frame Studio & Gallery. The pet-friendly shop will offer kibble, cooked and raw food pet food and treats and even customized pet-safe cakes.

Owners of the framing business decided to retire last year, hoping to sell the location to another frame shop after 11 years in downtown Beaver. With no luck selling to a similar company, owner Jamie Laughlin said they are no longer taking orders and have started “selling our framing equipment, our fixtures and our remaining retail.”

“It’s too bad, because it was a ‘turnkey’ business that is still drawing in business and the new owners would have had plenty of orders for the new year,” Laughlin said.

The Courtney-Laughlin shop spearheaded Third Thursday entertainment and shopping nights in Beaver, and often invited an artist to paint live from the storefront’s window during Beaver’s popular Light Up Festival. The studio long-promoted the Beaver Valley arts scene, too, displaying framed works by artists like Gary Means, Carol Volz Begley and Bryan Fazio.

More:Beaver frame shop & studio seeks buyer

“We feel that there’s a little bit of ‘us’ in all of our customers’ homes and offices,” Laughlin said.

Wags on 3rd will open April 1 with a day of prizes, samples, giveaways and more.

“No matter where you are in your dog’s health journey, we’re here to help,” Wags’ owners said on Facebook.

New cosmetology school offering classes at Beaver Valley Mall

Ayanna Beauty and Business Academy is a new state-licensed cosmetology school now accepting student enrollment for classes beginning in February.

Founder and owner Ayanna Anderson, a licensed cosmetologist and longtime educator, is a Beaver County native and chose the Beaver Valley Mall for her brick-and-mortar location because it’s “centrally located and easily accessible to public transportation.”

The academy will offer four courses: cosmetology, esthetician, natural braider and instructor.

“Students will receive their State Board of Cosmetology license and be job ready upon completion,” Anderson said. “I’ve always wanted to be able to give back to my community and what better way to accomplish that dream than through education.”

For more information, call 724-683-0404 or visit Ayanna Beauty and Business Academy on Facebook.

Senior living facility to celebrate one-year in Big Beaver

Staff at Cambridge Retirement Living’s new senior living facility in northern Beaver County will celebrate their one-year anniversary after some initial startup delays.

Cambridge Falls, a personal and memory care facility at 599 Norwood Drive in Big Beaver opened March 1, 2022, after owners Cambridge Retirement Living purchased and remodeled the old Katera’s Kove building, making substantial improvements to the 22,000-square-foot property. The rooms, living spaces, bathrooms and kitchens underwent floor-to-ceiling renovations.

More:Cambridge Falls senior living facility to serve Beaver, Lawrence counties

The facility offers residents private, round-the-clock support alongside medication management, meals, utilities, housekeeping and a host of activities. On-site are a beauty salon, movie theater, courtyard, shared living experience, physicians visits and podiatry, X-ray, lab and therapy services.

Although first set to open in early 2020, the project faced years of delays related to staffing and other hiccups.

“We opened day one with one resident,” said Nancy Yates, Cambridge Falls activity director, who calls the one-year milestone a recognition of the facility’s humble beginnings. “Within the first week, we had four. We now provide care for 23 residents.”

For more information about Cambridge Falls, visit www.cambridgeliving.org/cambridge-falls.

Crop and Kettle gets $50,000 boost

Beaver County’s Crop and Kettle, a nonprofit educating community members about growing and preparing food and providing job training, received a $50,000 grant through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill.

Recipients in 10 counties statewide were awarded more than $520,000 in combined Farm Bill Urban Agriculture Grants this year. The program builds agricultural infrastructure by investing in small businesses to reduce food inequity and grow job opportunities.

“Access to food is a basic human right,” said Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “It should be accessible close to home, not a car or bus ride away.”

Applicants are eligible for up to $2,500 in micro-grant funds, or up to $50,000 in collaboration grant funds, to assist food processors and growers in urban communities to complete projects such as expanding operations, site design or planning to create community gardens.

More:Biz in the Valley: Rochester Hotel opens for overnight stays, airport hosts delivery robots & more

“Beyond fighting food insecurity, urban agriculture can open doors to jobs,” said state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-16, Ambridge.

The new funding will allow the nonprofit to expand resources for urban agriculture training.

“This will allow us to continue providing urban agriculture training and other skills that help our students overcome barriers in employment and gain valuable skills for both employment and life,” Crop and Kettle leaders said on Facebook.

CCBC president talks regional innovation

Community College of Beaver County President Roger Davis in late January shared his vision for reversing the region’s steady population decline and ushering in a new era of job growth.

Davis moderated a roundtable focused on southwestern Pennsylvania’s innovation economy hosted by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, suggesting that the region has a competitive edge thanks to strong technical career programs offered at colleges like CCBC.

“For the first time, I’m seeing parents say liberal arts are passé,” Davis said. “Parents are coming forward saying they want their children to have a technical skill or credential.”

Davis said there’s evidence that southwestern Pennsylvania is moving from an “information economy to an innovation economy,” adding that CCBC’s curriculum is largely focused on career and technical training to prepare students for skilled jobs at companies like Shell and Tenaris.

More:Biz in the Valley: Millions awarded to kickstart development, Shell cracker plant ramps up & more

“This college works with (those companies) on providing training and talent,” he said. “We are also talking about carbon capture in Beaver County…Beaver County is open to this technology solution.”

During the roundtable, area business leaders shared their confidence in newly minted Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s support for tech sector growth and job creation in advanced manufacturing and autonomous mobility.

“We have a governor who wants to work with us and is going to lay out the plan to get there,” said Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Stefani Pashman.

Bitcoin mining center in Midland “moves forward”

An Australia-based company mining bitcoin near a former Beaver County steel shop celebrated a record month for energy market revenue in December — approximately $4 million. In the past six months, the company’s energy market program has delivered nearly $14 million.

Mawson Infrastructure Group, a Sydney-based digital infrastructure company leasing 6 acres of property on the west side of Allegheny Technologies Inc.’s idled melt shop in Midland, started building its 100-megawatt Bitcoin mining center in January 2022.

“Our expansion at the Midland site continues to move forward at speed, with an online date still within Q1, 2023,” said Mawson CEO James Manning. “The first (modular data centers) have been delivered to our (120-megawatt) Sharon, Pennsylvania site, and we look forward to communicating the online date with our shareholders in the near future.”

More:Company to mine Bitcoin on idled Midland steel plant site

Mawson’s three-year lease with Jewel Acquisition LLC, which also does business as ATI, includes renewal options for up to 15 years. The company entered into a five-year power purchase agreement with Beaver Valley Power Station owner Energy Harbor Corp. at the Midland facility. It plans to make the 100 megawatts of power available to the PJM electric grid as a balancing resource through a partnership with distributed energy company Voltus.

84 Lumber founder Joe Hardy dies on 100th birthday

A longtime magnate in the building materials industry, 84 Lumber founder and Pittsburgh-area native Joe Hardy died Jan. 7 on his 100th birthday.

After serving as a U.S. Army Air Corps radioman during World War II, Hardy worked in a family-owned jewelry shop while earning his industrial engineering degree at the University of Pittsburgh. He started what would eventually become 84 Lumber with family and a friend in 1956 in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania.

It’s now a leading supplier of building materials, manufactured components and services in the nation with more than 250 stores, including in Vanport Township.

Chrissy Suttles covers business, energy and environment for the Beaver County Times and the USAToday Network. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ChrissySuttles.

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