By: Kara Duffy
June 17, 2013
Thomasville, GA - Most people who have spent any time in Thomasville will tell you that the city has quite a lot to offer.
"Our shops are full, our people are doing well, our employees are courteous. They really are the backbone of what we have," said Don Sims, the President of the Thomas County Chamber of Commerce.
It's a backbone that consists of one-of-kind restaurants, boutiques and several locally owned businesses.
Store owners, like Kathy Murphy of Kathy's, say they wouldn't have it any other way.
"The city has been very receptive of my business," Murphy said. "I've been here since 1986 and I've loved every minute of it."
Store owners also say they hope to give patrons a unique experience that will keep them coming back for more.
"We want people to feel at home when they walk into the door, but we also want to introduce them to somethings that they've never seen before," said Matt Willey with Sweet Grass Dairy.
Officials with the Thomas County Chamber of Commerce say, not only do the small businesses offer a great boost to the local economy, but they also offer a boost in tourism.
"The specialty shops, especially that we have in retail, bring people in from all over the entire South," Sims said.
For some people, like Georgina Kelly from Miami, it's the customer service and Southern hospitality that attracts them.
"In Miami, it's so busy, very crowded; it has a different atmosphere; a different feel to it," she said. "Here, this is something new!"
"We care about our customers," Murphy added. "We learn our customers and we appreciate our customers and we let them know."
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
This is the 50th year the U.S. has recognized small businesses nationally.