“People are just so neighborly,” Texas celebrates ‘Small Business Week’
(Editor’s note: This story was originally published May 13, 2021 at 6:15 AM CDT - Updated May 14 at 12:52 AM on ksla.com)
MARSHALL, Tx. (Great Health Divide) - As the nation continues to turn the corner on the coronavirus pandemic, the Lone Star State is celebrating its small businesses — many of which were hard hit financially.
Until Saturday, May 15, it is Small Business Week in Texas.
“An amazing 99.8% of businesses in the Lone Star State are small businesses,” said Governor Greg Abbott of Texas. “They are the heart of every Texas community, and their continuing resilience drives local job creation and fuels our mighty economy.”
According to the state, there are 2.8 million small businesses in Texas, employing 4.8 million people. But, as many of these small businesses shuttered during the pandemic, one little coffee shop in Marshall is highlighting the perseverance of the human spirit — and a little faith.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Jackie Starr, an owner of Stagecoach Coffee Co. “If we didn’t believe in ourselves, no one else would believe in us either.”
Like millions of Americans, Starr was laid off during the spring of 2020, but had spoken with her husband about the prospect of opening a coffee shop.
“My husband and I had been talking about opening a coffee shop two years before that,” Starr said. “We started in May and opened in September not knowing if we were going to do $100 a day or or $100,000.”
Despite their fears, Stagecoach Coffee Co. opened its doors on East Grand Avenue. The community’s response was overwhelming.
“We were severely underprepared, we had more people than I can count, it was crazy,” Starr said. “It was a lot of pressure because we didn’t think we’d have that kind of turnout because of COVID.”
Starr said the genuine excitement surrounding the opening of Stagecoach is one of the reasons why she believes the people who make up East Texas are some of the best.
“I have gotten to know so many of the community members here and they have wrapped their arms around us, I’ve made so many new friends over the last seven or eight months,” she said. “People are just so neighborly that everyone wants to support the small business owners that open in their town.”
Of course, Starr has some advice for prospective small business owners, who might be wary of taking that first step.
“Project positivity and confidence and fake it till you make it,” she said. “You will if you keep trying.”
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