When Goshen resident Kelly Huffman reached out and took a state award form Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann Wednesday, we know she was bursting with pride. And we, too, are proud of her accomplishment.
Huffman received an Economic Development through Growth and Entrepreneurship Award from the Small Business Development Center. The award was for an emerging business in the northern region of the state. We know state government hands out a lot of awards each year, but we are glad to pay particular attention to those involving startup businesses.
Huffman is a perfect example of how business expands. She saw a store selling frozen yogurt in Mississippi, liked the idea and pondered how she could adapt it for the local market in Goshen. What she did next is something we recommend to anyone considering opening a business — run the idea past some experts.
The Small Business Development Center staff in South Bend listened to Huffman’s proposal and helped her realize her goal of opening the yogurt shop. The center is one of the best resources we have in Michiana for entrepreneurs to turn to for feedback and resources. Risking capital on a business venture is nerve-wracking and getting good advice from people who screen ideas daily is a thrifty technique to move projects forward.
For those few people who may have recently returned to Goshen after decades of being away, we point out that the city has many new enterprises created by people with foresight and business acumen. Sure, we still have massive factories that turn out hundreds of recreational vehicles each week, but there is a strong movement in developing locally-owned small businesses. Successful examples of them can be found along Main Street, inside the Old Bag Factory, up and down Pike Street and Lincolnway East, and yes, at Linway Plaza, home to Honey’s Frozen Yogurt.
What each of these new businesses represent is someone’s dream in owning their own business. They also are very visible examples of someone putting their trust in the Goshen community and committing to a future here. All this adds up to a thriving, evolving and vibrant community that offers many opportunities. That vibrancy has been Goshen’s history, and it will be Goshen’s future.