All posts tagged small business

Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting: What’s The Difference?

By Kurtis Bell, ServiceMaster by Bell

Let’s talk about disinfecting. One of the hottest topics of recent months has been disinfecting, but are you actually disinfecting or just throwing away product?

We need to start by understanding differences in terminology. Cleaning is removal of visible soil from objects. This works by using detergent and water to physically remove the soiling.Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on a surface or object to a safe level as judged by public health standards or requirements. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects by use of a chemical.

Killing germs on a surface after it has been cleaned can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Be sure to check out the CDC website for more information on the differences between these three terms.

With talk of disinfecting and everyone cleaning mail with sprays and such, it is still important to clean before sanitizing or disinfecting. In my world of cleaning and restoration, the number one rule in sanitizing and disinfecting is you must first remove all organic soiling. Skipping cleaning would be like using hand sanitizer to “clean” your hands after you have spent the morning changing your car brakes.

One thing to keep in mind with disinfectants is that disinfecting is often not an instantaneous process. Many common disinfectants require a dwell time or wet contact time that can be anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes for COVID-19. That means the surface must remain wet to the touch for the specified time. To find what the wet contact time is for a product you might have, take a look at the fine print on the label.

In America, disinfecting chemicals are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If the product you are using does not have an EPA registration number on it, you are not going to be doing any disinfecting. Find where your label has “EPA Reg No.” After that, there will be a 3-5 digit number, a dash, and another 1-3 digit number. Do a quick search for “EPA List N”, find your product’s EPA reg number on the list, and see how long the contact time is for the product you are using.

Hopefully this helps in the fight to keep yourself, your home, and your coworkers and office (in your life sustaining business of course) safer in these trying times. Remember to clean before you disinfect, focus efforts on frequently touched surfaces and objects, and when disinfecting, follow EPA guidelines on contact time to ensure product efficacy. Stay clean and stay safe!

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s May 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Friedhaber’s Celebrates 50 Years

Friedhaber’s is a staple business in our community and we are excited to congratulate them on their 50th anniversary! Located at 14 East First Street in Oil City, the store opened in 1970 and has been owned in partnership by brothers George, William, and Thomas Friedhaber since 1989, adding William’s son, Steven, in 2009. They carry quality brands of all major appliances, offering delivery and service as well. 

The owners are active community members, having served on boards such as the chamber of commerce, YMCA, United Way, Blind Association, and UPMC Northwest. They are also members of many professional organizations, such as NARDA, NFIB, NASD, the Venango and Franklin Chambers, and the Better Business Bureau.

Friedhaber’s staff is continually trained in sales, service and installation. They provide their customers with the quality service they expect and deserve. Congratulations Friedhaber’s team on 50 great years, and here’s to many more!

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s May 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Porch Music Store Continues to Grow

Porch Music Store opened at 409 13th Street in Franklin in June of 2016, sharing space with sister company, Gibbons Business Solutions (GBS). Both grew so quickly that GBS soon needed its own space.

In June 2018 the store doubled in size, adding studio lesson space at 411 13th Street, which has enabled more significant growth. That growth included 100 new students, 7 more instructors, additional instrument instruction, and space in the original store for a builder corner and lab where visitors can make their own fun folk instruments.

The expansion was a collaborative effort. Deanna Wolfgong, their first instructor, was completing her master’s degree in music therapy and needed office space to begin her practice. She continues to teach piano, guitar, ukulele and voice for Porch Music Store and now sees her dream becoming reality as a music therapist with her own private practice space within their studios.

Meanwhile, Ashleigh Bennett became the lesson coordinator. She facilitated development of an online portal linked to their website, allowing new student sign-up, lesson tracking, and communications between staff, instructors and families.

She has also been instrumental in recruiting qualified instructors. As a result, they now offer instruction in piano, guitar, bass, voice, ukulele, drum, trumpet, clarinet, sax, tuba, beginner flute and beginner harmonica.

The collective of talented, experienced instructors inspires creative fun. Elizabeth Williams, who is also a piano tech, loves sharing music theory and hosts a “Theory Thursday” lesson each week on their Facebook page. Elizabeth, Ashleigh, and Deanna started a Mommy & Me class last year and a new class will be starting in February.

Mike Showers and Ryan Advent, drum instructors, are working with Randy Devlin (trumpet, tuba, bass, guitar) to create a new band room. That area is slightly larger than the current lesson rooms and will allow for small groups to jam together.

The growth of the builder corner and lab is also exciting. They’ve had fun hosting small groups to learn about handmade instruments and build their own canjo or cajon. They keep kits and tools ready for inhouse builds, or can go on site. This year they are planning to introduce new fun instruments for makers of all ages.

It has indeed felt like magic. It’s the magic that results from community. Their students, parents, customers, instructors and fellow businesses have provided support, encouragement, and advice. This story is a shared story. When we discover and enable fun collaborations, we can grow something in magical ways. Visit the Porch Music Store for a tour and share the magic.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Creekside Granite Welcomes Jessica Ewing-Falco

Creekside Granite and More (CSG) in Reno is growing and expanding its business and showroom. In 2019, CSG hired on a fulltime manager and sales position. Jessica Ewing-Falco started in July and has helped grow the Creekside showroom to a fully stocked tile and granite gallery.

CSG has always offered these products, but now clients can come in and see and feel them for themselves before making a large decision on their home improvement. Also in 2019, Creekside Granite added a new piece of equipment. A Denver 5 axis bridge saw was added to the arsenal of tooling and equipment used to achieve the highest level of accuracy and detail possible.

Now when you hire Creekside Granite to fabricate your kitchen or bathroom counters, you can rest assured knowing that the highest level of measuring, fabrication, and installation are being used.

Creekside Granite makes it their top priority to achieve your dreams when designing and completing your home improvement projects.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

November 24th—Small Business Saturday

NoveBlue SHOP LOCALmber 24th—Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday, first observed in 2010, was created as a complement to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which target big box stores. Encouraging holiday shoppers to #ShopLocal and patronize their local brick and mortar stores, Small Business Saturday has become a fixed part of the holiday shopping weekend.

As a business owner, think about ways to accommodate the holiday crowds as they spend the weekend searching for deals. Making sure your website and social media profiles are up to date, thinking about extending your hours, and running a special sale or incentive are all great ways to bring in more business.

Holly Gibbons, of Gibbons Business Solutions, wrote a blog post recently with some advice for both business owners and shoppers. Holly writes: “Give customers a reason to shop local,” and reminds us that consumers are looking for business owners who are “customer-focused and easy to work with.” Read more of Holly’s post by visiting

The Cranberry Mall will be hosting a Small Business Weekend November 23-25. Vendors and Small Business owners can reserve a spot by calling the mall office at (814) 676-3406 ext. 100.

Whether you’re an early-bird, fight-the-crowds shopper or prefer to avoid the chaos, make an effort to #ShopLocal this season.


This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s November 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.