Business Notes: Oct. 25, 2015
West Lebanon — Almost five months after an early morning electrical fired caused considerable damage to DeFelice Family Furniture on Main Street and forced it close for renovations, the sofa and mattress store is again open for business.
“We’re finally back in, ready to roll,” said Alex DeFelice Jr., who has owned the furniture business for 26 years with his wife, Candice.
“We’re having a soft opening and will do a grand re-opening at the end of the month or early next,” said De Felice, standing last week in the spotlessly clean ground-floor showroom where the fragrance of a freshly painted interior hung heavily in the air.
The May 31 fire was traced to an overloaded outlet behind a desk on the ground floor and charred the computer, desk, files and ceiling above before the store’s sprinkler system kicked in.
DeFelice said he lost the store’s entire inventory as the result of smoke and water damage.
Recovery has been “not a pleasant experience,” DeFelice said.
After the fire its bank called in the mortgage note on the property, which was briefly listed for foreclosure auction before an arrangement was reached, DeFelice said, declining to elaborate because “that’s in the past.”
He said the renovation, initially estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars, ultimately ran into “six figures.”
Over the years DeFelice has evolved the store to reflect shifting needs among Upper Valley home and apartment dwellers. The store also carried a line of household appliances for a time, but in recent years has focused on home furnishings and mattresses.
A Norwich residence designed and built by Prudent Living Inc., a Windsor-based solar energy installer and builder of energy-efficient high-performance homes, has received a 5 Stars Plus energy rating and achieved a Home Energy Rating System index score of 0, according to the Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
The 2,000-square-foot cape style residence was designed to be net zero, meaning the amount of energy used by the homeowners on an annual basis is offset by the amount of energy the home creates through renewable energy. A lower Home Energy Rating System number indicates a more energy-efficient home.
The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical existing home scores 130 on the index while a standard new home gets a rating of 100.
The Upper Valley chapter of SCORE is offering a workshop on Internet Marketing Fundamentals on Thursday, from 6-9 p.m., at 20 West Park St., Lebanon, Suite 316, in the Citizens Bank Building.
The workshop will cover how to start marketing a product or service through the Internet and how to maintain a successful Internet marketing campaign. The program will also outline the steps needed to be found by search engines.
The presenter will be Vasilios Georgitsis, president of GlobeInt.com Inc. and co-owner of NHVT Computer Services LLC, both of Lebanon. Cost is $40. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit http://www.uppervalley.score.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 603-448-3491.
The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Awards ceremony and dinner will be held Nov. 6, beginning with a reception from 5 p.m.-6:15 p.m. at the Top of the Hop in Hopkins Center for the Arts at 4 E. Wheelock St., followed by a dinner from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. in Alumni Hall. The annual award winners are Doug Wise, who will receive the Chamber Achievement Award; the Upper Valley Housing Coalition, which will receive the Business Leadership Award; and Norwich Inn, which will receive the Business Innovator Award. Cost is $95 per person, $1,250 per table of eight. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit http://www.hanoverchamber.org.
TomTom is hosting a free GIS Day event on Nov. 18, from noon to 4 p.m., at it offices in Centerra Office Park, 11 Lafayette St., Lebanon.
Business owners, government agencies, school administrators, teachers, students and the general public are invited to attend this introduction to GPS and GIS technology. No registration is necessary for groups of six or fewer. For more information or to register a group larger than six, email email@example.com by Nov. 13.
Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.