Small businesses ‘heartbeat’ of county

FROM STAFF REPORTS

A few years ago, the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce realized that the majority of its membership could be categorized as small business.

That realization led to the Chamber’s first event to celebrate small businesses and the impact they have on Shelby County’s culture and economy.

Today, more than 70 percent of its members are small businesses, and on May 20, the Chamber held its third annual Small Business Luncheon.

Dick Cross, co-CEO of Summer Classics Furniture, which is headquartered in Shelby County, and guest speaker at the event, emphasized the important role small business owners play in Shelby County and across the country.

“You are the heartbeat of America. You are where most people work,” he said.

During the luncheon, the Chamber also recognized nominees and recipients of its Small Business of the Year Awards.

In Category I, which includes businesses employing between one and 10 people, Pelham’s Encore Resales on U.S. 31 was named the Small Business of the Year.

Mikey’s Grill off Valleydale Road in Hoover earned the Small Business of the Year award for Category II, which includes businesses with between 11 and 20 employees.

In Category III, which is for businesses with more than 21 employees, Vulcan Pest and Termite on Commerce Drive in Pelham won the Small Business of the Year award.

One of Alabaster’s newest businesses, Frios Gourmet Pops, won top honors in Category IV, which includes businesses open for less than a year. Frios is on First Street Southwest near Alabaster First United Methodist Church.

While we all love to see big stores and chains come to Shelby County, the majority of businesses here are small businesses owned and operated by local business owners and supported by county residents.

We urge our readers to patronize their local businesses. While small business owners and employees work as hard as possible to provide personalized service and great products, it’s up to potential customers to take advantage of what small businesses have to offer by supporting those businesses with foot traffic and dollars.

We would also like to congratulate the recipients and nominees of this year’s awards, and thank the Chamber for another great event.