Featured in the first quarter edition of the 2018 Greater Waco Business Magazine
Small businesses are the engine of our economy in the Greater Waco community – more than 70 percent of our membership is considered “small business.” We’ve decided to introduce a “Small Business Spotlight” to our quarterly magazine to showcase some of our local small business owners and discuss what it’s like owning a small business in Waco and how the Chamber has helped their business.
Our first Small Business Spotlight focuses on Jay Ehret, owner of Pickup Outfitters, located at 220 Lake Air Dr. Pickup Outfitters sells and installs high-quality truck accessories at affordable prices, providing outstanding customer service every step of the way. Ehret and his wife Carol purchased Pickup Outfitters from The Perry Company in 2016.
1. What led you to start your own business in Waco?
Waco is a great place to live. I can’t see us ever moving away, and Carol and I wanted a business that would be easily accessible.
2. How have you been engaged in the Chamber?
I think I first became involved with the Chamber around 2000 as an ambassador while working for Clear Channel Communications. Since then, I’ve been on various committees including the small business awards and economic development subcommittee. When I started my first business in 2001, I immediately joined the chamber and have been a member since, with the exception of the two years I went to work for the Dwyer Group. During my time at Dwyer, I helped represent them in the Chamber.
3. What keeps you in Waco, as a business owner?
Waco is a great place to do business. Our customers are great! The people here are genuine and appreciate locally-owned businesses. Small, locally-owned businesses are the character, flavor and heart of a community. Central Texans understand that and support our small businesses.
4. As a chamber member, over the last year, what has been the one thing you are most proud of?
The way the city is embracing the “Magnolia Effect” and using it as a springboard for community development. Chip and Joanna showed America all the great things about Central Texas. Our cities, chambers of commerce, and local business leaders have leveraged that publicity for smart growth projects and businesses to improve our culture and lifestyle. There are several cool businesses in the pipeline.
5. With an influx of people wanting to move to Central Texas, what would you say to someone who is considering moving their family and business to Waco?
Welcome! Our communities in the Heart of Texas have an open door to anyone who appreciates our family and faith-based culture and has a strong work ethic. You will find so many people who are constantly working hard to improve our community and way of life. Waco is a great place to live and own a business.
6. What advice can you give to new small business owners?
Get connected to other business owners. Passion alone does not make a profitable business. Seek out entrepreneurs who know how to run a profitable business. Watch them, ask for their advice, and learn from them.
7. On the weekends or in your free time, what is your favorite thing to do in Waco?
Take my bike to Cameron Park and go trail riding.
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