Business briefs: Board OKs $15,000 for facade repairs

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A husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team wants to bring a boutique, event space and private social club to the former Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory property in Fortville.

Daily Reporter file photo

FORTVILLE — The Fortville Redevelopment Commission approved $15,000 for helping with facade improvements that are part of a couple’s efforts to breathe new life into a former funeral home.

Sheila and Scott Brown, owners of 124 E. Staat St., which formerly housed Greenfield-based Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory’s Fortville location, plan to put boutique retail on the property’s first floor, event space on its second and space for a private social club on its third.

The town’s redevelopment commission approved the assistance funds from its new facade improvement program for removing existing vinyl siding and repairing and replacing existing siding beneath, repainting the exterior of the building, and repairing and repainting existing windows.

Unemployment rises slightly, still low

HANCOCK COUNTY — The county’s estimated unemployment rate for January 2022 rose to 1.8%, up from December 2021’s 1.1% and January 2021’s 3.6%.

Hancock County’s estimated January 2022 unemployment rate is tied for fifth lowest in the state. LaGrange County had the lowest, at 1.4%, while Lake County had the highest, at 4.2%.

Indiana’s estimated unemployment rate for January 2022 was 2.4%, down from December 2021’s 2.7% and January 2021’s 4.5%.

The nation’s estimated January 2022 unemployment rate was 4%, up slightly from December 2021’s 3.9% but down from January 2021’s 6.4%.

Residential real estate market remains active

HANCOCK COUNTY — Hancock County continues to see an active residential real estate market, an area real estate agency reports.

According to F.C. Tucker Company, Hancock County saw a 23.9% increase in homes sold in February 2022 compared to this time last year. Housing inventory increased as well, up 11% compared to February 2021.

Home sale prices increased, up 21.5%, year-to-date, to an average sale price of $302,822.

State leaders to foster business opportunities

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, Adjutant General R. Dale Lyles and Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers will lead an economic development trip to Slovakia and Israel beginning March 27, building on the governor’s focus of increasing Indiana’s international engagement and cultivating new business relationships and people-to-people ties in central Europe and the Middle East.

While encouraging collaborative opportunities to advance innovation, investment and bolster strategic relationships, the delegation will show humanitarian support during a critical time for the geopolitical situation in the region, a news release states.

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