By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News
It was fitting the Small Business of the Year award was announced in Mt. Pleasant?s Union Block Building as the company that had restored the building to its former grandeur received the award.
On Friday, May 4, during a luncheon at the Union Block Building, Jean C. Wiley and Sons Inc., was named the 2018 Small Business of the Year. Owner Ted Wiley said he was shocked when the video montogue, featuring each of the five nominees, ended on his family?s company logo. ?I didn?t think we would win,? he admitted. ?The other four are such great companies.?
The other four nominees included L.J. Roth Restoration, BP/Pep Stop/Godfather?s Pizza, Brown?s Shoe Fit Co., and Wilson Distributor Services. Throughout the course of Small Business Week, which spanned April 30 ? May 4, a ribbon cutting was held at each of the five nominated businesses.
Kristi Ray, executive vice president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, said one thing that really struck her about this year?s nominees is that each nominated businesses was a family business. And although it would have been difficult for her to come to a decision, it was unanimous between the judges, who both reside out-of-state. Ray asked the judges why and they both agreed, longevity. ?It has not been an easy 66 years,? Ray told the luncheon audience. ?They did not get into this and everything went great. They have been through a lot of lows and that came through in the application. But at every turn, the family stood strong.?
After serving in World War II, Jean Wiley began working as a cabinet maker in California. However, he and his wife Helen missed their families and moved back to Mt. Pleasant. As work was scarce, the couple started their own business and over the course of time, built a staple in Mt. Pleasant. In 1994, Ted graduated college and took over the family business. ?If Jean were here, I think he?d be shocked,? Wiley said during his acceptance speech.
Wiley said it wasn?t just the Wiley family that has kept the residential and commercial construction businesses going all these years, it was the Mt. Pleasant family. ?We have worked for you, or with you all at one time or another and it has been a real joy.?
Wiley went on to say it?s the community of small business owners that has made Mt. Pleasant what it is. ?We?re all learning from each other, we ask each other for advice and we hire each other to do work. We?re all apart of each other?s success and that?s the pride in our community.?