Chamber breakfast honors local small businesses | News | – Paducah Sun

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The Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce spotlighted local business owners and entrepreneurs at its May Power in Partnership breakfast Thursday.

Four local business owners and business people were invited to speak as part of a panel, sharing their inspirations to begin, challenges they’ve faced, and how businesses like theirs can expand.

The panel helped kick off the chamber’s Small Business Celebration in May, which is designated Small Business Month.

Panelists included Chris Hill, general manager at IHM used parts, Shulorn Jeter, a Realtor with eXp Realty, Nick Morris, franchise owner of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning, and Tabitha Sanders, a co-founder of Heart & Soul Interiors.

WPSD Local 6 evening news anchor, Todd Faulkner, moderated the panel.

To start with the speakers discussed how they got their starts in the business and how they came about founding or owning their businesses.

“I actually didn’t open the business, I’m the second generation in the business,” Hill said. “My parents opened the business when I was 7 years old. Literally sold the family muscle car that we had at the time to pay to start it.”

Others pushed themselves to their present success.

“I don’t like to be told no,” Sanders said. “Initially, that’s kind of where it started. The reason that Leslie and I started the company was that we were both single moms and we wanted to be able to support our families while also being great moms. And that’s how we ended up in business.”

Hill’s business was also one of four in west Kentucky to receive a grant from Sprocket and Codefi, called the West Kentucky Innovation Challenge, totaling $200,000 for all four recipient companies.

“The West Kentucky Innovation Challenge was basically trying to help rural communities to bring more tech into their businesses,” Hill said. “I knew what I wanted to do, being a mechanical engineer. I just needed the coding.”

Hill said that he used the funding in order to pay to add functions to the company’s website to enable them to provide parts worldwide. They were able to hire a local web developer to do the job who has “been hired by CSI at this point,” he said.

Two of the speakers — Jeter and Sanders — had also recently completed the chamber’s first Small Business Cohort program.

“I think it’s important to continue education because the world changes, and we have to evolve our field,” Jeter said. “If you don’t continue your education, your business becomes stagnant. When I started real estate, they were faxing. Well, we don’t have to fax anymore. I had to embrace technology. As the world evolves, people change. The business has to grow, too.”

Nick Morris also spoke about how to grow a business.

“We really try to focus on the …….


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