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Business officials look forward to 2018

tjefferson@vagazette.com

Local business owners are setting their sights on new goals in the new year.

Sam Wallace and his wife, Michelle, owners of the Scotland House in Merchants Square, see 2018 as a chance to build on the past year.

“The highlights of this year are that we’ve had a lot of friendly customers and the amount of new local customers. We’ve really increased our local business, which is really exciting,” Michelle Wallace said.

The Wallaces said they want to focus on improving the store and spending time with family.

The Scotland House sells clothing made in Scotland and Ireland. The Wallaces travel overseas each January to bolster their inventory with authentic products.

“We’re excited for our buying trip in Scotland and Ireland in the next few weeks,” Sam Wallace said.

Outside of being business owners, the Wallaces were happy that one of their six children got married this past year and another graduated from college.

“Life is always exciting,” Michelle Wallace said.

Gaining awareness

Williamsburg Area Association of Realtors President Kimber Smith will spend 2018 returning to a role he served in 24 years ago.

He was appointed president again Nov. 1.

The Williamsburg Area Association of Realtors aims to advocate the right to own, use and transfer housing property in the area. Smith said he wants to raise awareness about the association in 2018.

“One of the things I would like to promote this term as president is the Realtor brand and the Realtor image,” Smith said.

He also wants residents to understand Realtors are here to help.

Outside of working with WARA and serving as chief operations officer of Berkshire Hathaway, Smith is a competitive weightlifter.

Smith, 60, recently won first place at the IPA National Powerlifting Championships in York, Pa., for his bench press scores.

Smith said in 2018 he will continue to train and would like to compete nationally.

Expanding business

Tim Ryan, director of Launchpad, wants local entrepreneurs to come together and collaborate in 2018.

“We want to continue the momentum from 2017 into the next year,” Ryan said. “The more people you have within (Launchpad), the more help people can leverage from one another.”

Launchpad, which was founded in 2015, is the Greater Williamsburg business incubator at 4345 New Town Ave.

Ryan said Launchpad currently houses 18 businesses, 10 more than last year, and he would like that number to continue to grow.

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

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