Each year since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration has recognized the vital contributions of America’s entrepreneurs during National Small Business Week. According to the SBA, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. every year. This year small business owners, including those in the travel and tourism industry, are being celebrated April 29-May 5.
You can help support these entrepreneurs year-round by visiting local businesses when you travel. In Wichita, for example, small businesses help make our city a Midwest destination worth visiting. Thank you to our small business restaurant partners like Ziggy’s Pizza, retail partners like Urban Interiors and service partners like Shaken or Stirred.
Please read their stories below and know that there are many more Visit Wichita partners who are among the 30 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine of our country’s economy.
- Ziggy’s Pizza at Clifton Square and Ziggy’s Pizza at The Collective
Brothers Jamie Verbeckmoes and Ryan Verbeckmoes founded Ziggy’s in 2012 and celebrated their fifth anniversary by opening a second location operated by their sister and her husband, Jonathan & Kristi Fenwick. Both restaurants have brought life to the developments where they operate – Clifton Square near College Hill and The Collective in northeast Wichita – with delicious rectangular pizzas, awesome outdoor patios and full bars that feature national and local craft beers. You feel like you’re at a neighborhood pizza joint, because you are.
- Urban Interiors
Cheris Coggins regularly had customers drive 60-plus miles from Wichita to shop in her Farmhouse 5 store in tiny Anthony, Kansas, so in 2017 she brought the furniture and home décor concept to the largest city in the state. Urban Interiors is on the ground level of Eaton Place, adding to the growing retail options in downtown Wichita. Her motto is “live with what you love” and she stocks unique furniture that is fully customizable so that each piece can reflect your personality. You’ll also find art, lighting, home décor as well as gift items like jewelry and Wichita-themed merchandise at a variety of price points.
- Shaken or Stirred
U.S. Air Force veteran Pat Pelkowski moved to Wichita with the Federal Aviation Administration and after retiring from a career in air traffic control, he started Shaken or Stirred Bartending in 2017. The business lets him combine his entrepreneurial spirit with a love for entertaining and mixology. In his small bar at home, he loved making friends their favorite cocktail or introducing them to a new drink. When a friend needed bartending services, it spurred him into launching a liquor catering business. He brings professional bartending services to corporate events, weddings and parties at Wichita’s top venues or private residences.