The City’s Economic Development Department’s incentive programs
have allowed numerous small businesses to thrive.
52 FALL 2020 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
Partnering for Success
Prior to opening Picnic Hill Market
Café, at 20621 Fairmount Boulevard
in Fairmount Circle, Shawn Brown
and Michael Miller were leading
entirely different lives in California,
where Brown worked as a lobbyist
and Miller as a surgeon.
But the couple had long shared
a dream of opening their own
business. “We talked about it for
like seven years,” says Brown, who
grew up in Cleveland Heights. “We
decided if it was going to happen,
now was the time.”
So the duo came east. “My entire
family is here,” says Brown. Also a
factor: It’s simply more affordable
to operate a business in Ohio, as
compared to California. “We moved
back in 2018 and it took a little over a
year to open,” says Brown.
By Diana Simeon
Photography by Angelo Merendino
The Gentlemen’s Cave Luxury Barber Lounge, Picnic Hill Market Café, Domo
Yakitori and Sushi, 3-19 Coffee … these are just some of the nearly 50 small
businesses that have opened their doors in Shaker Heights over the past
couple of years.
Talk to the owners of these and other new businesses – or expanding
businesses, like Shaker Animal Hospital or Scorpacciata Pasta Co. – and you’ll
learn about the years of work that go into making these dreams a reality. The
City’s Economic Development Department works hard to support them. That
support includes incentive programs. “Our mission is to support our local
small business community, whether it’s attracting new businesses, helping
businesses expand, or revitalizing our commercial districts,” explains Laura
Englehart, the director of the City’s Economic Development Department.
The results of these efforts are a win-win-win. Entrepreneurs get the
support they need to successfully open or expand. Residents get more
shops, restaurants, and services to enjoy, and the City gets additional tax
dollars while also diversifying its tax base.
“Really, our goal is to make Shaker Heights a great place to own and
operate a business,” says Englehart. “This helps revitalize our business
districts and diversify our tax base, so Shaker can continue to thrive in the
decades to come.”