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After online public voting, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Wright’s Market of Opelika, Ala., with its annual Community Excellence Award.
“We are so thankful for the support from our community,” Jimmy Wright, president of Wright’s Market, told the Opelika-Auburn News after receiving the honor this week at America’s Small Business Summit. “This is really the one for them.”
Wright emphasized to the newspaper that he can’t do it alone.
“I’ve got an unbelievably incredible group of people that work with me at the store. I am fortunate to have a bunch of people working for me that just love people. I couldn’t do this on my own, if it weren’t for them.”
Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said “Wright’s Market is a fantastic example of what makes small businesses so important to our nation’s communities.”
“Wright’s Market goes the extra mile each day to engage and serve its customers and neighbors, and in fact, the value of service is built right into its business model,” he said. “Jimmy Wright and his employees are to be commended for their efforts, and we are proud to honor them with this much-deserved recognition.”
Wright started working at the business after school as a young man. Years later, Wright bought the store, renamed it, and began a journey as a small business. Wright’s Market makes it a priority to offer customers a clean, safe, and family-friendly shopping environment, exceptional customer service, and affordable prices on quality products.
The motto “Nourishing Families, Serving Communities” drives Wright’s Market to be active outside the walls of the store. In 2013, Wright’s Market began a transportation service, offering rides between customers’ homes and the store for no charge. After hearing concerns from his customers about blight and crime in their neighborhoods, Wright approached the mayor with research from other cities that overcame similar issues, and he began to spearhead an effort to reclaim Opelika’s neighborhoods.
The plan he helped develop, which is focused on improving housing, addressing issues of crime and safety, and supporting local small businesses, is today in the early stages of implementation. Wright and his employees also support several non-profit groups in the community by providing food to programs serving local churches, schools, and individuals in need.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller added his praise in the Opelika-Auburn News:
“I think it’s terrific. Jimmy Wright epitomizes what community service is and should be for all of us. I think he sets an example for Opelika business owners,” Fuller said.
“I’m proud to call him my friend, and I am so happy and proud for him and his family,” he said, adding that Wright’s award “is a great reflection on Opelika.”