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BCE Blog: Cookie crumbs and building permits

Next brown bag discussion Nov. 19

By Paula Scott, BCE Executive Director
The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) is hosting a Brown Bag Discussion series on topics of interest to small businesses.

The small group gatherings at town hall are designed to fit into busy schedules and allow for plenty of questions and answers. You’re welcome to bring your lunch or dinner, while the BCE provides dessert.

On Oct. 23, our conversation focused on commercial building permits, with Jesse Blackburn of the Village of Bluffton and Mike Rudey of Wood County Inspection fielding our questions.

They explained that unless work on a building is cosmetic, yes, you may need a zoning permit from the Village of Bluffton (for exterior work) and/or a building permit from Wood County, the permitting authority for the village.

This requirement isn’t generally known. A building owner might assume that their contractor would handle any necessary permits, but ultimately the owner is the responsible party. If you start without a permit, an inspector may knock on your door and stop work.

Permits protect the building owner and the general public by confirming that work is done according to code. For example, while replacing a furnace in a commercial building may seem like a routine job, if improperly vented, it could have deadly results.

For business properties within village limits, contact the Village of Bluffton when you are in the planning stages. To learn more about commercial permits visit the Wood County Inspection website at

Next discussion Nov. 19
The next Brown Bag Discussion will be from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Bluffton Town Hall, 154 N. Main St.

The topic will be “Why should I enter the business plan competition?” and the discussion will be led by former prize winners: Dan Klear of Superior Energy Solutions, Marlena Ballinger of The Dough Hook Meat Market, and Beth Bish, CNP, of Bluffton Pediatrics.

The BCE is holding the next Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition in January-February 2020, with $7,500 in prizes to be awarded.

Entrepreneurs are invited to attend a 7-week class with Kathy Keller, CBA, and to present their plans to a panel of judges. There are two competition categories: Emerging Businesses (in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, and Putnam counties) and Improving 45817 Businesses. For full details, visit

Join us Nov. 19
Want to join us on Nov. 19? RSVP to [email protected] or (567) 525-6667 so that we can provide enough chairs and dessert. Have topics to suggest for a future Brown Bag event? Drop us  a line. When you participate, you’re “helping grow a great community!”


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