“We are locally owned, so it’s easy for people to come and talk to us,” Robert Medel said. “They see us in Walmart, they see us in these different shops, and they’re like oh wait, I know you.”
Robert Medel, Manager of Supreme Vapor, said customer service is an advantage when it comes to competing with corporate companies. He said building relationships with customers plays a huge role.
“It gives them a sense of comfort to come back to us and see we are just like regular, normal Joes,” Medel said.
Small businesses help communities thrive by bringing employment and recycling money back into the local economy.
Ruben Castillo, General Manager of Color Covers, said that is exactly what his company was able to do after Hurricane Florence- rebuild locally.
“The whole time we have to understand that these are our friends and neighbors so that’s kind of how we treat it, as we are an intimate part of this community,” Castillo said.
Melissa Peck, Co-Owner of Dukenfield’s Tavern in Jacksonville, said her bar offered her the opportunity to help customers suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Peck said this is something that sets small businesses apart from big corporations.
“We just take care of people more so than a corporate place does, because it’s more of a family,” Peck said.
Peck said, having a small business can be challenging, but the reward outweighs that hardships small business owners can face.
“It makes me feel great that people do come back, you know, so I know that we’re doing a good thing here,” Peck said.