Opinion: Smith deserving of the Phoenix Award

Published 9:49 am Monday, April 22, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Phoenix is one of the most recognizable icons in Greek mythology. It is a bird that could be reborn in its ashes. That is the origin of the phrase, “rising from the ashes.”

Why that is significant to Selma is because we learned recently that Jackie Smith will receive the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Small Business Disaster Recovery by the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience (ODR&R) at the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Smith owns Reflections Coffee Shoppe and The Coffee Shoppe in downtown Selma, and she has been one of the driving forces of the rebuild here after last year’s tornado affected a large portion of our community and county.

Email newsletter signup

“Immediately after the tornado, I knew The Coffee Shoppe had to step up and do anything and everything we could to help Selma get through this major event” Smith said about receiving the award. “ From allowing disaster agencies to set up workspace, feeding first responders, helping to coordinate community giveaways, to being a mentor for my business colleagues. We lost over 100 businesses during the 2023 tornado and for The Coffee Shoppe not to sustain any major damage, all the things I did to help was just the natural reaction of a person who loves her city and her community.  Together we are ‘Selma Strong.’”

According to its website, SBA has presented Phoenix Awards since 1998 to “business owners, public officials and volunteers who displayed selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.”

Smith will be leaving next week to attend National Small Business Week, which will be April 28-May 4 in Washington, D.C.

It is fitting for Smith to receive this award and be a part of the event that focuses on the success of small businesses in the country. Her assistance has helped Selma rise from its own debris a year ago, and that process is still underway here. It’s nowhere near complete, but we are much farther along due to assistance and leadership from her and many others who have diligently worked to help us rebuild.

Thank you to Smith for all that you have done for our community. You are very deserving of this honor.