Local businesses named finalists for Alabama Business of Year – The Andalusia Star-News

Local businesses named finalists for Alabama Business of Year

Posted at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 29, 2022

Andalusia Town and Country Boutique and Taylor Linen Services have been named finalists for the Alabama Small Business of the Year Awards.

The finalists were selected from nominations submitted by local Alabama chambers of commerce. Alabama chambers had the opportunity to nominate one small business member for each award category. Awards will be given in the following categories: emerging businesses (in business less than 5 years), small businesses 1-10 employees, small businesses 11-50 employees, or small businesses 51-100 employees.

Merle Jones opened Town and Country in Andalusia Square in 1951. About ten years later, they moved down South Three Notch Street to the former Foreman’s Funeral Home, or the “green house” as everyone called it. Mrs Jones’ daughter Pat Thompson continued to own and manage the shop until around 2010 when it was bought by a second owner. She eventually moved to the Western Bypass and created the Trio Shopping Center with two other local businessmen.

Terri Proctor bought the store in the summer of 2020 and immediately got involved with the city of Andalusia in the work of moving town and country back to the center of Andalusia. In early 2023, the store will open in the Prestwood Building, just steps from its original location in 1951.

“We have been nominated by the Chamber of Commerce of the Region of Andalusia to represent Andalusia in the category of small businesses with one to 10 employees. I currently have four employees working for me in the store. I have been working with Laura Wells at the Chamber to compile a list of projects I have been involved with with our community. These awards are based on civic engagement,” Proctor said.

Presented annually by the Chamber of Commerce of Alabama (CCAA) and the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), the awards recognize businesses for merit based on a variety of civic endeavors, business success and community involvement.

Proctor was contacted by Paige Hutto with the CCAA regarding the city and country that had been selected as a finalist.

“I am excited to represent my hometown and this amazing and supportive community. We have something special here in Andalusia and I look forward to taking a piece of our corner of the state to the awards ceremony in November,” she said.

Taylor Linen Services, runner-up in 51-100 employees category, first opened its doors in Andalusia in 1997.

“It started with a commitment to be the best linen and uniform provider in our market and a business with a safe and desirable work environment. Andalusia has a strong pro-business city government. We also have great public schools that help attract employees with young families to the city,” said Office Manager Katherine Jones. “We look forward to representing our employees and our city at the State Chamber Banquet.”

Jones added that this recognition is exciting for the company’s entire team.

“What we do every day is long, hard, hot hours, and it’s often not the first thing people in the industry think of. While we work hard every day to provide superior products and service to each of our customers, we work just as hard to make Taylor Linen Services a place where people are proud to say they work.”

According to Jones, working in a family business has several advantages.

“It’s much easier for all employees to be a teammate on the field, not just a warm-up guy. We all know each other personally, and if an employer knows you as a friend, he will not even call a day and let you work there. They will stay and help you finish as well. While the business name represents one family in our team, there are many families working here with multiple family members. At one point, we counted up to eight families with two to five of their individual family members currently working at Taylor Linen Services,” she said.

All award finalists will be recognized at the BCA/CCAA Partnership Annual Meeting on Wednesday 30 November in Birmingham. Three winners (gold, silver and bronze) will be awarded in each of the four categories. Each category will be represented by 10 finalists from across the state.


Leave a Comment