Passion Never Fails: A Look Inside Pensacola’s Economic and Cultural Growth
Small businesses are the backbone of every community and the heart and soul of locally sourced goods and services. Small businesses bring growth and innovation to communities while providing employment and career development opportunities in areas where large corporations are few. One could argue that small business owners are akin to hometown heroes helping residents live their best lives.
It is no secret that Pensacola has long suffered from talent flight. That is to say, many of its best and brightest residents leave the area to begin or continue careers in larger cities. Who can blame them for wanting the most out of life in addition to a competitive salary?
The phenomenon significantly placed limitations on local small businesses as well as the community in general. The talent flight narrowed the candidate pool for many organizations, and community members were unable to receive the best-of-the-best of anything in the nation.
During the last ten years, Northwest Florida has seen a significant shift in not only the quality but the types of available services. With unemployment down to 2.9%, Pensacola has transcended from its limitations to become a bustling metropolitan community. We can thank the contributions of small businesses who stayed the course, thrived under pressure, and exploded with growth and two-fold opportunities that simultaneously benefited both the individual and the community. To that measure, we can thank the men and women who remained local and continued to support small business growth.
Hurst Butts, owner of the trendsetting VolumeONE Salon located in the heart of Downtown Pensacola, is a staunch supporter of Pensacola’s revitalization efforts. He remains committed to developing his team in such a way that they not only provide cutting edge services, but they provide those services exceedingly well. The duality of his approach provides the community with upscale services on par with those found in larger cities while uplifting and making his employees more marketable.
Hurst believes in educating and growing his team not only to benefit the salon but the community. He states, “Every stylist at VolumeONE is well-trained and well-traveled. I believe they need to observe ever-changing styles and trends personally.” VolumeONE stylists participate in classes, seminars, and hair shows worldwide. Hurst strives to foster his team’s personal sense of community and recognizes each stylist as an individual with struggles, dreams, and their own sense of purpose. Hurst continues, “When combined, the individual personalities of my stylists drive the tone and energy in the salon.”
The VolumeONE team members selected for the personal vignettes are as varied in background as they are strong in community spirit. They have different stories and incredibly unique personalities. They represent a multitude of passions and a consolidated willingness to better their surroundings. Where their personalities, passions, and traits unite, we find the progressive nature of community and cultural growth.
Although small businesses bring a sense of community to each city, it is the steadfast leadership from small business owners that helps incite change and stimulate growth. It is placing the right people on the right bus at the right time. It is a balance between keeping community members employed while cultivating and developing their individual skills, and delicately balancing the needs and wants of the surrounding community.
“The value of a business is a function of how well the financial capital and the intellectual capital are managed by the human capital. You’d better get the human capital part right.” ― Dave Bookbinder.
At the very core of cultural growth and community, success stems from the men and women whose collective talents, personalities, backgrounds, and life experiences propel small businesses. Time and time again large businesses place claim to the success and revitalization of a community when, in fact, it is local talent performing the tasks that keep the large businesses afloat. Talent, that when combined, is greater than the sum of its parts. In the wise words of Steve Wynn, “Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s THE thing that runs our business.” It is our local talent that sails the ship of economic and cultural growth.
7 W MAIN STREET
PENSACOLA, FL 32502