Mike Copeland: Escalando; Building permit roundup; Bed Bath & Beyond closures; Pinkin’s Unique Boutique | Local Business News

Eric Terrazas, who oversees economic development at the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the new Escalando program is going over well. It was launched to give Spanish-speaking business owners tips in their own language. Escalando, by the way, is Spanish for climbing.

The chamber holds classes in the new Waco Fire Department administration building, built along with Fire Station No. 6 where the old 25th Street Theatre stood. He said 25 to 30 people have been showing up at meetings to learn about staffing, supply chain issues, business insurance, marketing, taxation and more.

The meetings now are held one evening monthly, but Terrazas said he hopes to begin more intensive workshops lasting three weeks.

Building permit roundup

Building permits of note issued in recent weeks include one valued at $3.2 million “to replace curtainwall system and storefront system” on the first floor of the Waco Police Department building at 3115 Pine Ave., according to information provided by the local Associated General Contractors of America office.

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Elsewhere, the soon-to-open Pignetti’s restaurant at 401 S. Third St. secured a permit to install a pizza oven, though it did not provide an estimated cost. Hecho En Waco, a Tex-Mex restaurant at 300 S. Sixth St., secured a permit valued at $20,000 for building alterations. A permit worth $30,000 was issued for a kitchen remodel and new bathrooms at 924 Austin Ave., with Common Grounds, a coffee shop, identified as the user. A permit valued at $500,000 was issued for “metal building shell, future finish-out with equipment” at 702 Forrest St., the longtime home of H&B Packing Co.

A permit that does not include a cost estimate was secured for “exterior repairs” to 922 Franklin Ave., longtime home to Neighborworks Waco.

Bed Bath & Beyond closures loom

Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond announced last week it is closing 150 underperforming stores and cutting 20% of its workforce as a cost-cutting move after a second quarter in which sales may fall 26% below those last year. The company said it has secured $500 million in new financing.

The Associated Press reported the New Jersey-based chain would return to focusing on national brands instead of pushing its own store labels.

The company, which operates a store in Waco’s Central Texas Marketplace, had not released its closing list late last week.

Punkin’s Unique Boutique

Punkin’s Unique Boutique will open Sept. 16 at 135 N. Hewitt Drive. The Hewitt Chamber of Commerce plans a ribbon-cutting, and the public can get a look at handcrafted home decor from around the world while enjoying Raising Cane’s food, tea and lemonade, according to a press release.

Owners “have searched Waco and beyond to find unique furniture, clothing, art, home decor and kitchen accessories,” the press release says.

Find Your Waco Job Fair

The Freedom Fountain next to the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Ave., will serve as the venue for Find Your Waco Job Fair scheduled 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday. The fountain is on the Franklin Avenue side of the Convention Center, between Waco City Hall and the Hilton hotel.

The fair is free and open to the public. The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce encourages recent graduates, students, transitioning military veterans and their families, and traditional job seekers to attend.

The event will feature exhibitors representing restaurants, volunteer organizations, local nightlife, real estate, leasing agencies and more, according to a press release. The goal is to connect attendees with organizations that may offer full-time and part-time jobs and internships, the press release says.

For more information, go to wacochamber.com/FindYourWaco. To ask about exhibit space, call chamber leadership development director Rachel Martinez at 254-757-5633.

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