Looking back at 2011, it's clear that one of the most rewarding parts of working on the White House Business Council has been the opportunity to meet innovative, inspiring small business owners from across the country, Americans who are working hard to create jobs and opportunities in their own communities. This week we are highlighting a few of their stories.
Zachary Riles and his wife Laila Alizadeh moved from the Pacific Northwest to her hometown of Louisville, KY with hopes of raising a family there. While looking for a new home, they quickly saw that the green housing options they had grown accustomed to in the Northwest were not available in Louisville or the surrounding areas. That realization was the genesis of BlueGrass Green Company, a housing supplies company that offers sustainable remodeling materials for eco-conscious consumers, which launched in 2008.
Today BlueGrass Green Company sells environmentally-friendly, energy-saving products, with an inventory that ranges from zero-VOC paints and solar fans to eco-friendly countertops and natural flooring. The company is committed to only selling items that are non-toxic and made from renewable sources, and are moving towards products made exclusively from recycled materials.
Since its launch, BlueGrass Green Company has become a leading member of the Louisville community, participating in the “Buy Local First” campaign, attending eco-fairs across the state and promoting environmental documentaries at local film festivals to galvanize citizens interested in helping the environment. Mr. Riles credits these efforts and a supportive local community for the success of his business. As BlueGrass Green Company continues to grow, its owners are determined to keep expanding their staff, while leading the charge for a greener America, and believe President Obama's plan to create jobs will help them reach these goals. “Those initiatives would make the idea of hiring new employees much more "sustainable" for us,” said Riles.