Smith, Sewell hold virtual discussion during National Small Business week

Published 3:54 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Selma, opened National Small Business Week with a “Terri Talks” virtual discussion featuring Reflections Coffee Shoppe owner Jackie Smith.

The virtual showcase was titled “Sipping on Success: The Story of Selma’s Award-Winning Small Business Owner Jackie Smith.”

Smith discussed overcoming adversity to open her first coffee shop over a decade ago and admitted she stumbled at the start.

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“It was a struggle for me, I didn’t make my first profit until seven years,” Smith said. “My success did not happen overnight. I learned the tricks of the trade.”

Sewell said Smith’s triumph against the odds is an inspiration to several small businesses that failed over the years.

“Jackie Smith gave Selma a place to mingle and eat good food,” Sewell said. “She had so many hardships to overcome.”

Smith offered advice to people with small business aspirations.

“Don’t give up,” Smith said. “Starting a business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Do what you love and love what you do. Start a business in your hometown. Invest in your community.”

Smith thanked Sewell for always fighting for small businesses, especially in the seventh congressional district.

Sewell said over half of the country’s workforce consists of small businesses.

“Small businesses are the strongest economic engine in our country and the backbone of our economy, and I am committed to doing what I can to help them thrive,” Sewell said.