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Business goes mobile as markets change

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:05 PM

As Norwalk businesses go through changes, the director of the Norwalk-Huron County Area Chamber of Commerce said adaptations are positive steps to adapt to changing markets.

"Our businesses are savvy enough to change with the changing demands of the market," James said. "Isn't that a good thing? If they're changing to adapt to what their markets are demanding, what more can we ask of a business?"

Coldwell Bankers Routh Realty is closing it's Norwalk office, but still has 20 agents working in the area. Northside Auto Service, 29 N. Hester Street, has closed the service department, sold the towing operation to another business and sold the building to a man who plans to open a new automotive service shop.

It will be business as usual for Coldwell Bankers Routh Realty even though the Norwalk office of the business is closing down, said owner Sally Routh.

"Realtors work out of their cars, basically," Routh said. "We don't have the need for so much office space."

She said the local phone number (419) 663-9313 will still connect Norwalk-area clients to one of the 20 agents in the business that sells real estate over five counties.

"With real estate today and technology, there is no need for an office," she said. "We're not closing, we're consolidating our offices."

James said the move is part of a trend of employees working from home and automobiles using cell phones.

"Trends start on the East and the West coast and they trickle to the Midwest," James said. "But the company is still doing business here. That's smart business."

Tim Henes, former owner of Northside Auto, now works for the new owner of the towing business John Miller, owner of Northside Heavy Duty Towing and Recovery. Henes said the operation is an extension of Miller's first business in rural Norwalk, Miller Mobile Wrench.

Henes said he sold the building on Hester Street to Mike Rommell, who is now remodeling with plans to open a new automotive shop next month.

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