Honoring Local Small Businesses

Honoring Local Small Businesses

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is March 29. The U.S. Small Business Administration calls family-owned small businesses the bedrock of our economy. “They account for 44% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, create two-thirds of net new jobs, and employ nearly half of America’s workforce.”

SVCC is proud of many alumni who are entrepreneurs. I would like to introduce you to some of them.

Shawn Lucy and Chase Fletcher run The Butterfly Rose Florist and Gift Shop in South Hill. Chase explains, “The Butterfly Rose was named in honor of a truly extraordinary lady, my Mom. With her love of butterflies and Rose for a middle name it seemed right.”

The Butterfly Rose, which employs six people in addition to its owners, offers floral designs, home décor, and other items. Shawn says, “We serve many families in different capacities, whether it be for the loss of a loved one or a momentous occasion. We create lasting friendships with our customers.”

Sundari Morgan also loves interacting with the people she serves. Her boutique in Farmville, Lex on Main, opened in February 2022. After becoming the first in her family to receive an Associate degree, she decided to invest in opening a business rather than pursuing a four-year degree. “I wanted to tell women about the importance of investing in themselves,” she says.

Lex on Main offers size-inclusive clothing, shoes, accessories, and décor items. It recently served as lead sponsor for Farmville’s first full runway show, "Bring Fashion Home," showcasing diverse and size-inclusive fashion. Sundari says her store allows people to be a part of a supportive community providing confidence and empowerment to women.

William Edwards established Driven Mobile in Jetersville where he has been servicing automotive and small engines since 2015. The company is an authorized dealer for Spartan Mowers, Yakta Mowers, and Maruyama Power Equipment as well as an authorized warranty center for Kawasaki Engines and Briggs & Stratton. William says, “I love that I get the opportunity to form relationships with my customers. It allows me to become more connected with my community.”

Zach McKinney, owner of Zachary McKinney Technology, is another business owner who enjoys a strong community connection. Beginning in 2013 as a web designer, he expanded his company’s services to incorporate computer sales and repair, networking solutions, and audio/visual support. The company, which opened a retail location in Keysville in 2021, currently has four employees.

Zach’s career path took him by surprise. When he originally enrolled in classes at SVCC, he thought he was taking his first steps toward a career in geology. All that changed, he says, “because of the impact and support from Lydia Chappel in the IT department.”

Zach explains, “We play a vital role in community-based organizations, businesses, and even local government. Our impact allows others to provide much needed services to thousands of people.” He adds, “By supporting small businesses, you contribute to the overall health and vitality of your community while enjoying the unique products, services, and experiences they offer.”

You can take simple steps to help small businesses like these. Shop locally. Provide good feedback on review sites. Like and share social media posts. And remember that word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind, so tell your family, friends, and neighbors about your favorite family-owned small businesses.
Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.


In this section