These days it seems people aren’t as willing to give up their hard-earned dollar to just anyone, and companies have taken notice. However, that hasn’t stopped the opening and expanding of local businesses. So why open a new business now when many are closing their doors?
At this time in his career, Philip T. Hardy, M.D. of Legacy Family Medicine, saw a need in the ever-growing and diverse community of East Orlando. “The time was right in my professional career where I could offer something of value to the community,” he says. “I feel the bilingual community may have needs that are not being met.”
For Teena Patel, owner of Doglando University, opening their new location, Groom, Grub, and Belly Rub in Avalon Park, was a way to bring exposure to the main Doglando campus, as well as offer a new set of doors people can walk through right into the heart of the community she wants to serve.
In these difficult times, small businesses have found a way to compete with larger companies, not only in the relationships they form with their customers, but in the way their services are provided. Patel believes that unlike larger, chain corporations, her service is not an assembly line process. “We don’t want these dogs waiting around and getting all anxious and nervous barking in the kennel, waiting their turn,” says Patel.
Beyond general care and service, success is attributed to the individual attention and guidance offered by these thriving small businesses. “I am not interested in placing Band-Aids. Instead, if we uncover fundamental problems, we can structure valid solutions. I believe each patient is unique, and requires a unique solution for his/her medical problem,” says Hardy.
Despite many consumers having less money in their pockets, support for local business is growing. “So many people tell us, ‘we used to buy our food from such and such; we want to support local business.’ That is our motivation through these hard times,” says Patel.
So, what’s next on the checklist for these small business owners? “Our long-term goal is more community service-oriented. It’s more to shelter animals than it is retail,” says Patel.
As for Hardy, he hopes to partner with other physicians to bring world class medical care to the Waterford Lakes community.
“My long term aspirations would include attracting like-minded doctors who are excited about the things that Legacy Family Medicine represents,” he says. “We need to recognize that we are in the same corridor as the UCF Medical School, and the long term impact of this institution on our community will be immeasurable.”
Article by Erika Finnimore