Third-generation small business owner talks about health insurance challenges.
Name: Charlie Odegaard
Business: Odegaard’s Sewing Center
Employees: Six employees along with seven people who regularly teach at the center
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
What’s the history of your business?
My grandparents Harvey and June Odegaard started our business November 1, 1969, in Flagstaff. My dad took over in the late ’70s, and I’m the third-generation business owner with my dad still involved, but he is backing off to enjoy his ranch south of Prescott.
What’s the best part of your day?
The people we interact with everyday! Since our business is such a specialty, we strive to be the best in customer service. We draw customers from all over northern Arizona, and when we can take care of their needs that day so they only have to make the long trip to Flagstaff once and they leave happy, that makes our day. The referrals we receive are especially satisfying.
What are some of your biggest challenges, and how are you dealing with them?
Right now, it’s health care. I just received a notice from our health insurance provider, and we are going to see a 20 percent increase! Our provider mentioned we should look at the Affordable Care Act as a possibility. I don’t want that option, just as any senior doesn’t want to rely on Medicare alone.
What kind of business climate does Arizona have?
I believe Arizona has an overall good business climate. I believe Arizonans like our business climate and would like to keep it that way with low taxes and less regulations.
Why did you join NFIB?
NFIB is our voice to our legislators, for 90 percent of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees. On our own, we do not have much say, but as a larger body we do. We are also a member of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.