Worthington Tax and Business Services has new location with lots of history
Worthington Tax and Business Services' owner Bill Gordon added local and historical elements to the newly renovated office space on Third Avenue in downtown Worthington.
WORTHINGTON — Gone are the days of the red-bricked pathway that used to split the floor in the former Chamber of Commerce building on Third Avenue in downtown Worthington, now home to Worthington Tax and Business Services.
Inside, the building has undergone extensive renovations, from the layout of the building’s offices to the newly re-exposed brick walls and replaced windows throughout.
It’s a big change from Worthington Tax’s former office along Oxford street, said owner Bill Gordon. He’d been looking for a couple of years for a new location to give his staff of nine a bit more space — and Worthington Tax and Business Services customers a bit more comfort and privacy.
Renovations to the building began last August, and by Jan. 1, Worthington Tax was making the move into its new space, with just enough time to get settled before the 2023 tax season kicked off.
“The nice thing about having Kyle (Johnson) as the project leader is his vision and Johnson’s dedication to the historic downtown Worthington,” said Gordon. “We tried to bring back anything that could have been original.”
The doors in the office are fir, the same wood used in the Armory that houses the Nobles County Historical Society. Above the front interior sign, when you walk through the doors, plaster was removed to reveal three windows, original to the building, which underwent restoration.
Behind the front desk sit a pair of windows from the media center of the former Central Elementary School, where Gordon attended school — and just above those windows is a stone pendant, another nod to Worthington’s history, that was donated by the Johnson family.
It’s a space, Gordon said, designed with the privacy and comfort of customers in mind while adding historical and local touches to the downtown building. From the pictures and artwork hanging on the walls to the snacks and coffee served to customers, that local element is something he worked to integrate into the new space.
“This is an investment in the company. It’s an investment in the future of Worthington,” he said. “We love serving the people living here and in the surrounding area.”
Worthington Tax and Business Services offers both business and personal accounting, as well as tax preparation, business planning assistance, and farm succession planning, among other services.
“We wanted to be a one-stop-shop as a full-service accounting firm,” Gordon said.
Tax season marks the busiest time of the year for the business, with staff members logging their longest hours. During the summer months, Worthington Tax remains open for business, but usually with shorter hours. While Gordon is busy with his family farm from spring planting through fall harvest, he’s still available by appointment.
It’s an aspect of his business that Gordon thinks makes Worthington Tax unique — most of his staff have some type of background in farming or business, a quality he says provides them with good insight when it comes to serving the tax and business needs of the area.
“The customer sitting across the desk is the most important person to us in that moment,” Gordon said, a philosophy he credits partly to his predecessor, Bob Lindquist. “We want to make sure we get their story, and make sure that they’re taken care of, and that their business is taken care of."
Getting into the tax business wasn’t something Gordon planned on when he graduated from college in 1999.
“All I wanted to do was farm, but the farm economy wasn't very good then,” Gordon said.
So, he approached Bob and Gloria Lindquist about a job and was hired on a temporary basis. After two weeks, Gordon said, Lindquist hired him full-time and for the last 22 years, he’s worked in taxes — though he still spends a good part of his year farming.
In 2015, Gordon bought Worthington Tax and Business Services, and Lindquist later retired after staying on to help with the transition.
Worthington Tax’s staff has continued to grow over the years and includes several bilingual staff members who have helped bridge the gap when it comes to serving the Spanish-speaking population in town, Gordon shared.
“I saw the need in Worthington especially, where we have Spanish-speaking taxpayers. A lot of them are entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said Gordon. “It’s been fun and really rewarding to see us grow in that community, and to be able to help them make their businesses successful.”
Aside from its new location in Worthington, Gordon also recently purchased Lynn’s Tax in Fulda from Lynn Nelson, with whom Gordon has worked with over the years. Now, a few of Worthington Tax’s staff split their time between the Worthington office and Lynn’s Tax, helping to take on some of those long days during tax season.
“There’s such a great and diverse community in this area,” said Gordon. “We’re really here to help everyone we can.”