Many businesses which bite the bullet and expand are being rewarded for their adventurous entrepreneurial spirit.
Sonic looks like a good example.
Ever since a modern Sonic Drive In was built on Russellville's North Main Street, business has boomed, or at least traffic congestion makes it seem that way, especially after the school day has ended.
I was satisfied with the slushes we were being served at the old location on East Fourth Street, but someone with better business sense than mine realized the restaurant needed to be upgraded, expanded and modernized.
Then a couple of our best businessmen, Logan Chick and Glenn Hatler, decided there was a niche for a small, locally owned grocery store with lots of fresh items available. They chose to remodel the old Sonic location.
They could have sat back and counted their retirement booty from Houchens. Instead they reinvested it in the community, and it appears that they're being rewarded, although they are putting in long hours of hard work to make it happen.
Back to expansions: Kevin Lewis chose not to stay put with what seemed like good business volume at the Subway across from Russellville High School. Now he has great business at the new location on 431 North near Sonic. Lunch lines are long and no one seems to mind too much because of ample parking and seating along with a bright, pleasant atmosphere.
When bigger store sites opened up, Jeff Harper of Farmers Hardware and Brent Crabtree of Crabtree Furniture made big, expensive moves. I hope what I'm seeing is right: that their increased volume is making the gamble pay off.
Grant Engler made a huge investment in moving his Tex Engler's Rod & Kustom Werks auto shop from Russellville to a much larger building he had constructed near Auburn. Now he tells me only a few months later that business is so good he may have to expand.
National chains Dollar General and Blockbuster have moved to newer facilities in Russellville. Our family knows first hand the Dollar General Market is attracting lots of shoppers, and it appears Blockbuster is, too.
Wal-Mart will soon open a huge SuperCenter here, with local officials hoping that a lot of people who have been spending money at Wal-Marts in Bowling Green, Springfield and Clarksville will now shop here, increasing local tax revenue.
Randy Whitley moved his pharmacy a few yards down the street a few years ago into a larger location. His business is so good now that he no longer needs to be affiliated with a national chain. Whitley's Pharmacy can stand on its own.
Riley-White and First Southern National Bank have spent the summer and big bucks renovating and adding new technology to their downtown locations. Let's hope it pays off for both of them.
I'm sure I'll be reminded of other recent expansions by business people I've left out. We'll be glad to include them later.