The owner of a new printing company specializing in business services hopes to fill a void in the downtown market.
With help from building owner Mike McGauley and from the downtown redevelopment group, the River City Co., Don Benedict opened fireball Business Services in July at the corner of Market and Seventh streets.
Fireball provides services ranging from simply faxing a document to large-scale digital printing, binding and direct-mail jobs.
“Fireball is the ideal tenant, not only for the building but in terms of a service business in the downtown area,” Mr. McGauley, principal in Fidelity Trust Co., said. “Downtown needs more of these service-oriented kind of businesses, and fireball is a good example.”
After Mr. McGauley and RiverCity Co. approached him Mr. Benedict, who also runs Chattanooga-based firm Five-05 Marketing, did a little research of his own. He said he found the area to be in great need of a business of this type.
“Based on my experience and after doing some research on my own, I agreed that it was a good fit,” he said.
Staff Photo by Dan Henry
Pam Stieg, left, works with Georg Turner, the creative director at 505 Marketing, to create a presentation folder while at Fireball Business Services in downtown Chattanooga Monday morning. Fireball opened in July and serves downtown businesses.
Mr. Benedict declined to disclose how much he invested in the business, an investment that included funding from the RiverCity Co.’s new retail incentive program, which provides one-time funding to get businesses started downtown, with the first phase focused on the Central Business District.
Fireball is the first business to benefit from the new program, which provides grants ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 to help with equipment purchases and other start-up costs, said David Unruh with the RiverCity Co.
The group also provided fireball with downtown contacts that would be in need of the business’s services, he said.
“I’ve had a lot of positive reactions from other downtown businesses,” he said.
In March, the two-year-old Business Partner closed, leaving vacant the 3,000-square-foot business at 700 Market St. The franchise had been the first business to occupy the longtime retail site following the departure of Waldenbooks from downtown in 2000.
Mr. Benedict, who has spent 20 years working in the printing industry, now has three employees who run the business, making everything from business cards, letter heads, banners and specialized mailings for direct-to-customer mail-outs. He has done work for banks, manufacturers, local health clubs and retirement centers.
The business also provides printing, faxing and UPS service for walk-up customers in addition to those larger projects, he said.
Fireball already is doing a good amount of work for businesses in the area, and Mr. McGauley said he believes the business has a lot of potential in the high-profile location.
“We feel like that is a very important corner,” he said. “(Fireball) does a lot of things that support large and small businesses in the downtown area.”