NEW SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The phones at Welsh Motors have been ringing non-stop since the announcement of its closure Monday morning. Some people were trying to get service done before the doors close and others were offering their well wishes.
The closure of Welsh Motors was announced on its Facebook page on Monday. According to the post, the business is closing Nov. 1.
“Obviously, with the way things have gone this morning, we are going to be missed,” said Kim Welsh-Koch, current president of Welsh Motors. “I think it’s because of the way we’ve always done business.”
Welsh Motors has been owned by the Welsh family since 1939. The business began when Duncan and Wayne Welsh (father and son) purchased a Ford franchise.
They already had a few school buses and were providing transportation to Springfield Local students.
Ed Sobnosky, Springfield Local Schools treasurer, says the motor company has always supported the district.
“They’ve done all of our maintenance on our buses for that time. They’ve always supported the schools. They’ve supported our levies. They have given financial donations to our football field. Just been a great relationship. And hate to see them go,” said Sobnosky.
Welsh-Koch said her family has treated their customers like family from the start.
“My dad came in 1958, returned from college and he and my mom took over Welsh Motors. So I pretty much was raised here. I came in my bassinette … in the office with my mother,” Welsh-Koch said.
Larry Welsh later joined the business of his father and grandfather. Later, Welsh-Koch, Larry’s oldest daughter, took over as the company’s president.
Larry passed away in 2016, and Welsh-Koch plans to retire and spend more time with her family.
The family also had a history of entrepreneurship with involvement in the Wire Welsh Distillery, producing Middletown Golden Rye Whiskey.
The family thanks its customers for their support over the years.
“We’ve just tried to give back the blessings that everyone has blessed us with,” Welsh-Koch said.
The closure will cause 15 people to lose their jobs. However, Welsh-Koch said she’s committed to finding her employees a new spot, as future plans for the business have been in the works since the end of summer.
“I took those opportunities to Ford Motor Company, and Ford said, ‘We’d like to make you a third proposal,'” she said.