Small business make Oak Park ‘Great for all people’

EugeneTurn on the local news and national news and you often hear political pundits talk about “Joe the Plumber” and other small business owners. They describe small businesses as if they are the only thing that matters.

Well, while some assertions from TV talking heads and politicians are hyperbolic, they are real. Oak Park is primarily dominated by small businesses. From Old Soul Coffee, Ace of Fades Barber Shop and the new Broadway Coffee Shop, small businesses leave an indelible impact on the community.

Small businesses are defined as an organization with one to 99 employees. Sacramento earns hundreds of millions of dollars each year from small businesses, directly from sales and property taxes and indirectly from the income of small business employees and owners. Some of that money that flows directly back into Oak Park.

There is not a litany of major corporations in Oak Park such as a Target or Starbucks. Those stores are in close proximity to the community, but not in Oak Park. Small businesses make up 94 percent of the workforce in Oak Park, according to recent statistics by the Small Business Administration.

Broadway Coffee employee Jake Gates is an Oak Park resident. He describes the impact his employer has on the community:

“I love Oak Park and I love the fact that many of the employees here live in the area and want to see it grow,” Gates says.

His perspective is common among employees in the area. Greg, an employee at Old Soul Coffee, underscores the point.

“Old Soul Employees live in Oak Park, work in Oak Park and enjoy the atmosphere from McClatchy Park to the farmer’s market,” he says. “Oak Park is great for all people.”

The local workers are proof that Oak Park small businesses help constituents gain job skills, customer service skills and develop relationships in the community.

Small businesses give people hope, skills and a viable future based on a solid foundation.

Anyone can apply for a small business loan, as long as they have a business plan.   Mentoring is available, according to the Sacramento office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, an independent agency of the federal government.

Joseph McClure is the District Director for the Sacramento Small Business Administration. The department’s website touts the impact of small businesses and the training opportunities available for women and people of color.

Here’s the regional website:

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