Oak Lawn looks to keep business in town
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com May 8, 2014 5:14PM
Phil Fasel, of the family-owned Fasel & Sons Garden Center, is offering Oak Lawn residents $3 off every flat of flowers and vegetables through May 31 as part of a program to boost business in the village. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 10, 2014 6:07AM
Since his election to the Oak Lawn Village Board a year ago, Trustee Tim Desmond (1st) has been a strong proponent of hiring local people, specifically craftsmen who may be between jobs, and working with local businesses.
Starting next Monday, Desmond’s focus on helping locals should help save money for Oak Lawn residents and, at the same time, give a boost to businesses and contractors in the village.
“I’m surprised this wasn’t done before because it’s so simple. The most phone calls I get from people are about their neighbors’ property. That’s probably a good sign for Oak Lawn, that the biggest problem we have is people maintaining and up keeping their property,” Desmond said.
Hiring local contractors is “a way to get more work for local people,” Desmond said.
The Shop Oak Lawn/Hire Oak Lawn Initiative, Desmond introduced at a board meeting last month, will kick into high gear May 12.
Oak Lawn residents who hire local contractors to do renovation work at their homes will get $100 knocked off any building permit fees they incur. Permit fees vary depending on the size of a job.
Residents must act quickly as the permits must be obtained over a two-week period, from May 12 to May 23.
The permits are good for one year, but the deal is limited to patios, balconies and decks; garden and retaining walls and columns; swimming pools; re-roofing; minor residential remodeling that do not require plan reviews; energy efficiency upgrades; and miscellaneous plumbing, mechanical and electrical projects.
Discounts are offered to Oak Lawn residents at a number of Oak Lawn businesses throughout May as part of the program.
Sherwin-Williams Paints, 5525 W. 87th St., and Fasel & Sons Garden Center, 10841 S, Cicero Ave., are among the five businesses in the plan.
At Sherwin-Williams, save $10 when you spend $50, through May 31. Sherwin-Williams manager Ryan Carberry said he was approached by Steve Radice, the village’s economic development director, with the idea
“It’s going to bring me business. I can’t complain,” Carberry said.
Radice said Desmond came up with “a great idea.”
“It makes the village pretty, it gives residents an opportunity to save some money, and it gives businesses an opportunity to make some sales,” Radice said.
The paint store is seeing business pick up with warm weather finally arriving along with tax returns, Carberry said.
Carberrry and assistant manager Cathy Kaczmarczyk, of Brookfield, are ready. She was busy Monday helping Oak Lawn resident Terry Shinnick pick out colors as he plans to repaint the interior of his house.
Shinnick, a 35-year resident, likes the idea of the village encouraging resident to invest in Oak Lawn, and he likes the break on permit fees.
“It’s important to buy in your own community. I do it all the time. I buy my vehicles here. I buy my groceries here,” Shinnick, 60, said.
Phil Fasel, owner of Fasel & Sons, is offering $3 off each flat of flowers and vegetables as part of the program. There’s no limit, either, through May 31.
“That’s $3 for one, $6 for two. You buy 100 flats, we’re talking $300 in savings,” Fasel said.
Fasel, whose garden center was filled Monday with folks eager to start planting items, is thrilled by the idea of the village promoting Oak Lawn businesses.
“A wonderful idea. We’ve been here since 1963. We’re a fixture in Oak Lawn,” Fasel, 53, said.
“We should all work together,” Fasel said.
Beverly resident, Bill Strom, a frequent shopper at the garden center and other Oak Lawn businesses, likes the promotion although he can’t cash in.
“I think it’s a great idea. I do plenty of business in Oak Lawn. It’s proactive work by whomever is running Oak Lawn,” Strom said.
Other deals, all run through May 31, include: 10 percent off your entire purchase at Key Carpet, 10847 S. Central; 5 percent off the entire purchase and free bulbs when you buy any chandelier at C&L Electrical Supply Co., 9637 Southwest Highway; and 10 percent off any purchase of $500 — with a maximum discount of $500 — at Home Depot, 4060 W. 95th St.