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Business Beat

March 29, 2014

Country Junction in Oneonta to close

Country Junction, a home decor and gift store on Southside Oneonta, is closing, owner Kelly Gell said Friday.

“We will be open as long as we inventory,” said Gell, who owns the business with her husband, Lary. The business’s candle-making operations closed in October, she said, and the decision to close the gift store was “a long time coming” but finalized this week and announced Friday.

The expenses of doing business, including supplies, rent and electricity, were too high to continue, she said, and customers also have been affected by the economy.

The business has existed about 15 years in various retail and wholesale modes, she said, and at the busiest time, there were 18 employees. She said she will miss her associations with suppliers, employees and customers.

“I had a lot of great people to work with,” Gell said. Customers who found out about the store closing after a notice was posted Friday on Facebook have expressed disappointment, she said. Readers of The Daily Star recently had voted Country Junction as the Best of the Best gift stores, she said, expressing disappointment that she won’t be able to hang the plaque in the store.

Country Junction has been located at 4987 State Highway 23 at the Community Bank Plaza for almost two years after three years across the highway in Southside Mall, she said.

The store will be recognizing gift certificates and “punch cards,” Gell said, and she encouraged customers to stop in.

DEC: BROOKS’ WAS FIRST TO SUBMIT SELF AUDIT

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has reported that Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q in Oneonta is the first businesses in the state to be covered under an environmental audit policy.

Brooks’ self-reported to authorities that it lacked the proper waste-water permit for its business, signed an environmental audit policy in January and took steps to reduce the amount of waste-water generated, a DEC media release issued this month said. Under the policy, Brooks’ paid $500 in back regulatory fees, committed to obtain the proper waste-water permit and to install a new waste-water treatment system by Jan. 1.

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