JANESVILLE — The Janesville Rotary had local entrepreneurs and real estate investors come speak about investing in a small town.

Andy and Sarah Arnoldt have both invested in Janesville with their individual businesses and their shared businesses.

“I believe we have made a good start to making some changes in town, but there is still much work to be done and every contribution from the residents of Janesville makes a huge impact on what direction our town takes in the future,” Sarah Arnoldt said.

Sarah Arnoldt owns Loyal Pet Cremations in Janesville and chose to do so because she wanted to be her own boss.

Andy Arnoldt owns Arnoldt Power Washing & Repair on Main Street in Janesville.

This business is located in the old Shell Building that they purchased because the location of Main Street allowed them to fix it up and contribute to the beautifying of it.

In an email Sarah Arnoldt stated that they believe if someone owns a business on Main Street, it needs a retail business front.

Throughout the years they both have put in long hours to increase clientele and hire more employees at their businesses.

They have several rental properties in Janesville along with a commercial building.

After the 2017 fire that destroyed the Dog House Bar and Grill and damaged Wiste’s Meat Market, the owners of the Wiste’s Meat Market wanted to reopen so Sarah and Andy Arnoldt decided to purchase the building.

They saw a need for a meat market in town. Wiste’s Meat Market is on one side, Infinity Catering, Brewed Awakenings and a laundromat are also located in the same building. Sarah and Andy Arnoldt chose to open the laundromat because it is a service to the community. These are four more businesses either brought to or reopened in Janesville adding to Main Street.

“I would love to see more community engagement,” Sarah Arnoldt said. “I would like to see people using their talents and experiences to improve Janesville to invest in the community and work towards making positive changes.”

From all of the business involvement in Janesville and speaking with officials both Sarah and Andy Arnoldt believe that it is important for community members to work together to invest in the small town of Janesville.

There were many ways listed of how these people can come together. It could be anything from volunteering to starting a new business, joining organizations, supporting the local economy, attending community events or working to improve what is already in town.

In the same email from Sarah Arnoldt she stated that it is their goal to make Janesville visually appealing, livable and an inviting community.

One initiative to making the community more visually appealing is through Janesville Matters. The group has been able to spruce up the main street with benches, flowers, paint and other projects.

“The information Sarah and Andy presented to us was very helpful and eye-opening,” Rotarian Laura Seys said in an email. “I do agree that an area we could work on is business growth, particularly in filling the storefronts on Main Street with shops again. It has to be affordable and sustainable for new businesses and I love the idea of offering incentives. It amazes me how many people within our small town volunteer their time to better our community. The community has rallied together to accomplish a lot the past few years and I’m excited to see what we do moving forward.”

Based on speaking with city administrations about the Janesville business district they learned that there is a strong need for industrial businesses, alternative living/care centers, financial planning, dentists, boutiques, bakeries and many other businesses in town.

In order to accomplish this they think enforcing business district ordinances and creating incentive packages for new businesses to come to town is vital.

Reach Reporter Bailey Grubish at 507-837-5451 or follow her on Twitter @wcnbailey.

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