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Regional chamber honors HFA member Sheely’s as small business of the year

Photo Caption: Sheely’s Furniture will receive its small business of the year award in August.

Even when the call came earlier this summer, Jeff Curry found it hard to believe. After all, in the 67 years  Home Furnishings Association member Sheely’s Furniture has been serving northeast Ohio, the family-run store has never even been nominated for a Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Salute to Business honor, let alone taken home an award.

One call ended both droughts. “When the chamber called, they asked, “Are you sitting down?’ It’s still a little hard to take in,” says Curry, who, along with Jessica Smith and Lance Romeo are still getting used to running the store as the new owners of Sheely’s. “We’re all very pleased and even more so honored that we won. Our employees are really proud, and they should be because this is 100 percent about them and what they do for our customers.”

Governor to speak

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will be the featured speaker at the ceremony Aug. 29 in Boardman, Ohio. Curry says Sheely’s is planning on sending a lot of employees to the ceremony. “This doesn’t happen every day – though we’re going to try hard to see that it happens again next year.”

The award is all the more remarkable given the store is less than a year removed from a major changing of the guard. Sheely’s was founded in 1952 by Dale Sheely Sr. Dale Jr. and Sherry Sheely sold the business in August to Jessica Smith, a granddaughter of Dale Sr., and longtime employees Curry, the store’s general manager, and Lance Romeo, the store’s buyer.

“I don’t think the operation missed a beat when the transition took place,” said Curry. “That’s a testament to the staff we have here. Everyone jumped up and said, ‘What can we do to make this (transition) a success?’ Then they went out and did it.”

Sheely’s sells the usual upholstery and wood furniture, but it also does a large amount of business in appliances. Last year the store’s 10 trucks did more than 22,000 deliveries, according to Curry. “A lot of people outsource their deliveries, we still have our own guys,’ says Curry. We like that control, we like being the first ones our customers see when they walk into our store and the last ones they see when we walk out of their homes after a delivery. That’s one of the reasons we’ve been such a success over the years.”

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