MANSFIELD, Ohio - A longtime Mansfield company marked a reinvestment into its local business on Thursday when MHS Industrial Supply (MHS) officially cut the ribbon on its new facility at 70 Sawyer Parkway.

Richland County dignitaries as well as representatives for state officials were on hand April 9 to congratulate Phil and Ann Downs, respective president and CEO of MHS, on their expansion as well as their 75th year in business.

“It’s always nice when you have somebody that’s a family-owned business and they grow to extents where they need a new building,” said Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker. “Phil and Ann have done a great job, they’ve grown their business and expanded and now moved out here to a really nice building.”

MHS Industrial Supply was the first industrial supply business in Mansfield, and is still the area’s only home-owned industrial supply business. Since the company’s incorporation on Aug. 14, 1940, MHS has grown from serving construction and contractors to serving primarily commercial and industrial accounts.

MHS President Phil Downs said the doors of their new facility on Sawyer Parkway officially opened on Jan. 5 after moving from their previous downtown location.

“We were running out of space in the building we were in; we were working on four different levels so it really wasn’t efficient,” said Phil Downs. “We’re going to try and capitalize on our location and try to drive more walk-in trade.”

MHS Sales Manager Brad Downs said the expansion upgraded MHS facilities from 18,000 to 42,000 square feet, into a climate-controlled building with only one level. The Downs were able to draw on the experience of State Representative Mark Romanchuk, who has also gone through a business move, and Mansfield Economic Development Director Tim Bowersock when choosing their new facility.

“It was a must for us to keep it local; we definitely wanted to be out here where a lot of businesses are going, but we’ve always been in Mansfield and that’s where we wanted to stay,” said Brad Downs.

“I can tell you from personal experience they’re one of our suppliers, and as I think about our entire supply base I always think about MHS being one of the best suppliers we have,” said Romanchuk. “We love dealing with them, they are a family-owned business, which we like even more, and so I wish them good luck.”

Richland County Commissioner Marilyn John also shared her own personal experience working with the Downs family, who happen to be her neighbors, within the Shelby community.

“In addition to being great business owners I know these are individuals of high integrity. They give back to their community; they’re very involved in their community and not just in Shelby,” said John. “As the former mayor of Shelby I’m proud that they’re Shelby residents but as county commissioner I’m really proud that we have them representing Richland County.”

Also attending Thursday’s ribbon cutting were representatives from the offices of Treasurer Josh Mandel and Governor John Kasich: Dan Risko and Jim Wasil respectively.

“It’s good to see entrepreneurial people staying here in the county, keeping jobs here, and we always like to highlight that and promote that,” said Risko. “I’ve been coming up here a lot for ribbon cuttings for a lot of small businesses as well as longstanding businesses like MHS; it’s great to see Richland County doing well.”

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