Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Cookeville Resident Named ’24 Small Business Champ

Cookeville Mechanical Contractors President Garry Floeter named the Small Business Champion of the Year by the National Federation Of Independent Business.

Floeter said he was speechless when he learned he had been chosen after some 50 years of business in Cookeville. He said the award was not only a result of the success of his company, but his passion in facilitating progress for all small businesses.

“Small businesses make up the community,” Floeter said. “That’s the lion’s share of the business makeup, is small business. We’re the first ones that feel the pain of an economy going one way or another and the first ones that can respond quickly to that.”

He said the most important lesson he has learned about being involved with a local business is that he can either get involved with government or get out of business. He said communicating with state representatives and communicating the needs of small businesses has been key in his success, and the success of the Upper Cumberland’s small business landscape.

“The political forces at hand can alter the direction of a business, no matter how hard you work on it, by changing laws, changing regulations, changes in tax codes,” Floeter said. “So, the forces in government need to be informed of how their actions impact businesses, and you need to be aware of who your elected officials are and be involved.”

He said the Upper Cumberland is very fortunate to have officials like Ryan Williams and Paul Bailey who are businessmen and are willing to listen to Floeter and others when they voice concerns. He said he attended the NFIB Day on the Hill in Nashville to share his opinions on what state government can do to help sustain small businesses, where he was surprised with the award presentation.

“Small businesses see things from a totally different perspective,” Floeter said. “They hire people on the front lines. They’re involved with the community.”

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