MACOMB (WGEM) – Over the past week, Macomb has seen several new businesses emerge. Perhaps most notable is the Wildfire Bar & Grill.
Owned and operated by Blake Kelly and Claire Weinrich, the restaurant occupies part of a building at 928 W Jackson Street. In just one week, Kelly said, the restaurant made him over $35,000 in sales.
“It’s amazing the support we’ve seen so far in our first week,” says Kelly. “We’ve seen so many people we know and so many new faces we get to meet.
This process started about six months ago. Kelly said she wanted to add food options to Macomb that the city didn’t already have.
“We tried to fill in the gaps in what we saw McComb need,” Kelly said. “It’s ribs, steak, and the morning mimosa option.”
The new business is nothing new, according to Lauren Merritt, executive director of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce. Merritt says small business development has skyrocketed since the pandemic.
“It’s not something you see everywhere,” Merritt said. “It’s always been like this, but I feel our community has always really supported and embraced our small business, especially in the last few years with COVID and everything.
Merritt said by 2022 the city will have an average of two to five startups per month.
Wildfire Bar & Grill is a new business, but Brandon Thompson, owner of Sullivan Taylor Coffee House, believes the new business represents an opportunity for all businesses.
Sullivan Taylor has set up shop in the square for 25 years, but Thompson says the more Macomb has to offer, the more likely residents of the area are to spend their money at home. .
“An hour, an hour and a half, nothing, so fewer people have to move to leave town,” Thompson said. “Stay local and help us thrive and survive.”
Mayor Michael Inman of such a small town calls Macomb’s small businesses the “backbone” of the economy.
“Whether it’s a retail store or a restaurant, there are large franchises in the community that we appreciate, but we’ve had a lot of small business owners, especially in the last six or eight months.” said Mayor Inman.
Inman said the majority of new business owners are young. He said this could lead to even more startups in the region.
“The rising tide raises all boats. With thriving small businesses, entrepreneurs tend to think, ‘If they can do it, so can I,'” Inman said.
Wildfire Bar & Grill is still awaiting a liquor license.
There are also other businesses that have recently started operations such as 1 PHO and 2DYE4 Hair & Co. Mayor Inman then indicated that several entrepreneurs have sought help to begin the process of starting a business.
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