Calera’s economy strong, business owners say

Calera’s businesses seem to be bucking the nation’s current economic trend, the city’s mayor and several business owners said during a Feb. 9 Calera focus meeting.

Home sales and business openings in the city have been relatively strong when compared with other areas of Shelby County and the state, according to Calera Mayor Jon Graham.

“We are amidst a bad economy. But when it started, I told everyone we weren’t going to participate in the recession,” Graham said with a laugh. “We have opened a Zaxby’s a little north of town, and we have been working diligently on a Publix that is slated to open April 17.”

“And among all the cities in Shelby County, aside from Hoover, we are selling the most building permits in the county,” Graham added.

Graham and Calera business owners also encouraged Calera residents to shop local to strengthen the city’s economy.

“It is important for us to support our local businesses,” said Pat Huffman, manager of Barbara’s Candles and Gifts in Calera. “We can’t survive if we don’t do that.”

Calera has also received a few new business offerings recently, like the Donut Depot off Alabama 25.

“Calera has been a fantastic place to do business,” said Donut Depot owner John Hall, who opened the business about three months ago. “People have just been wonderful to us. We have gotten tremendous support from the people here in Calera.

“It is a tough environment right now, but it’s a good environment for small businesses,” Hall added. “Because so many larger businesses have gone out of business, we hopefully can step in and fill that niche.”