Good first impressions are important when starting a business. In fact, your first few weeks might be some of the most crucial to get right. Starting off on the right foot can make or break a fledgling enterprise.

It’s hard to make a better impression than dedicating time and donating money to your community before you’ve even officially opened your doors.

That’s what Holy Smokes BBQ, soon to open at 1222 S. 32nd St., was doing Friday afternoon, however. They set up shop outside Walmart, selling passersby sandwiches and dinner plates of meat they were grilling right next to their booth.

Part of the proceeds this weekend went to local veterans’ center, The Barracks.

So far, Holy Smokes co-owner Toni Thompson has appreciated the response the booth has gotten, she said.

“I’m from Chicago, so this is all new to me,” Thompson said. “This seems like a real close-knit kind of place.”

Holy Smokes is scheduled to open “sometime next week,” Thompson noted. 

The flood waters have receded, but the troubles following the near-record flooding of the Arkansas River are only just beginning for some folks. To that end, the Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce is hosting Flood Stock 2019, a concert to benefit flood victims.

Chamber Director Jessica Fowler said the concert is still looking for sponsors at the $300 level and $500 level. Both levels will get a banner for the contributing business placed on a fence for the duration of the concert.

“We’ve had quite a few sponsors sign up already,” Fowler said. “We just appreciate any help we can get.”

I’ve done a lot of flood coverage since the disaster occurred and I’ve seen the need. Just because the water’s gone doesn’t mean the need is gone, so if you’re a local business and you’re looking to give back to the community, this would be a great chance.

If you’re interested the Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce can be reached at (918) 478-4780. 

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