The year was 2008 and we were all in for a very bumpy ride- financially. Many companies were cutting back and in some cases, completely shutting down. Around the nation, they were laying off thousands of workers. Many of those workers had no jobs for the first time in their lives.
Savannah man Corey Phillips didn't take the news like most people. He didn't look at his lay off the way most people did. He had never been unemployed before. This husband and father of four admits it was scary hearing for time in his life he would not have a job. That could have been any one of us. As Phillips said, being the man, the provider, made the situation even more difficult for him to handle.
"It was embarrassing just be honest with you. I had to go into the unemployment office. I had to file for unemployment and tell them how many times I had gone looking for jobs and you're talking about guy with a master's degree. I have a master's degree in public administration. I couldn't find any jobs - nothing. During that time, we were unable to pay our mortgage so we fell behind on that so we made a decision that we just have to move. It came to that, it didn't stay like that forever and that's the beauty of it," said Phillips, owner of 912food2go.
While he collected unemployment for that four months, he didn't just sit back. Corey took charge and enrolled in programs the city of Savannah offered to learn how to build his own business, a dream he had for years - 912food2go. "The concept for the city is a new thing. Third-party delivery service most people don't know a lot about. So initially going into the restaurants pitching the idea and telling them what we do and how we do it, was like talking a foreign language. When I first came out, I probably visited 100 restaurants. You know we started with eight restaurants back in 2009," he said.
Spanky's Southside signed up first. Three years later, they still have a great relationship."He's a great guy. He is always in here with a smile. He's always real pleasant to deal with," explained Summer Redmond, of Spanky's Southside.
Phillips used that winning personality to grow his business to include 27 restaurant partners now and 16 independent contractors work along with him. 912food2go is pretty straight forward. Customers log on to the website, place their orders and drivers deliver the food. "It's great. We really enjoyed the food and it's wonderful. The service is great and right on time," said customer Faye Walker.
Phillips has come a long way since he got that pink slip back in 2008, but he says he wouldn't trade the heartache for anything in the world because through the pain and disappointment, he's living his dream and he managed to teach his sons an invaluable life lesson along the way. "This is what America is about right? You get hit hard and pull yourself up by your boot straps and you keep going. That was the biggest part of it for me having four boys, I just wanted to be able to show them that things happen and it's how you respond to those things."
Phillips also says owes his success to his very supportive family, friends, and many programs offered through the City of Savannah including the Savannah Entrepreneurial Center where he learned how to develop his business plan.
He also used the U.S. Health and Human Services Department where he took a financial class and qualified for an individual development account and qualified for matching funds. Locally, you can contact Terry Tolbert 912.238.2960 ext. 114 firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website.
He also got a start up micro loan through the Small Business Assistance Corp.
Learn more about Corey's business 912food2go at his website.
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