American Flags and Poles Caps A Career of Entrepreneurship

Date: June 06, 2014

Related Content: NFIB in My State State Ohio

American Flags and Poles was founded in 1986 and has been
owned by Jim and Sylvi Caporale for the past 18 years.  While the Caporales have owned American Flags
and Poles since 1995, their involvement with NFIB  dates back to 1972 and the membership with
Jim’s first convenience store the Tasty Freeze.    They have personally witnessed the growth
of small business; the first convenience store convention Jim attended had 3,000
owners and by the time he stopped going before purchasing the current business
they had grown to over 12,000 owners in attendance. 

The Caporales offer a great representation of the
entrepreneurial spirit. In 1972, Jim took a pay cut from his job at the
Lincoln-Mercury Dealer to buy their first business, the Tasty Freeze.  Soon after, they purchased another
convenience store and would later own a third store as well in the Marietta –
West Virginia area.  Besides he three
convenience stores, the Caporales were the franchisees of Norel Services, a
temporary help business.  Jim, who
possesses a degree in bio-chemistry, also had a business that made prepared
sandwiches to microwave that they sold to other convenience stores, all prior
to the current offerings offered in those stores today. 

American Flags and Poles is truly a small, local
business.  The company employs 8
part-time workers, mostly young people. It offers them a great employment and
training opportunity.    American Flags
and Poles supplies Marietta with both indoor and outdoor décor while also
selling all types of flags whether it is patriotic, sports, or religious.    They also specialize in installing and
repairing in-ground flag poles, in some cases Jim is the only one with the
expertise to do so in the surrounding counties. 
Other services offered by American Flags and Poles include customized
orders and honorable disposal of old American flags.                

With so much experience owning small businesses, the
Caporales are acutely aware of the issues facing entrepreneurs today.   When they owned the convenience stores, the
main problem was staffing; finding qualified and reliable employees was always
a challenge.  Now with American Flags and
Poles, they point to the lack of foot traffic and increased competition from
online stores as a major issue.  Online
competition paired with the growth of the big box stores has hurt walk-by
stores like theirs and decreased demand.  

With an over 40 year relationship with NFIB, the Caporales
clearly value what NFIB provides to small businesses and their owners: “NFIB is
the only voice we have.  We don’t have
anybody else to speak for us.  It is a
way for small businesses to collectively bargain.”

They remain active with NFIB by encouraging other
small-business owners to join NFIB and attending the local Area Action Council
Meetings in Marietta.  You can find out
more about their store at

Related Content: NFIB in My State | State | Ohio

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