• Third in a series

Jimmy Poarch, the proprietor of one of Waxahachie’s longest tenured eateries, Oma’s Jiffy Burger, seems to be taking the global economic crisis in stride.

While Poarch, who bought the 39-year-old establishment in April 2000, believes that most small business owners may have to tighten their belts financially, he’s optimistic that tweaking lifestyles a little will help sustain them through the economic crunch.

“Things have been really good for us here at Oma’s,” Poarch said. “I think it’s largely due to the fact we’re a steady, local business that seeks to give back to the community.”

Asked what the secret to the success of Oma’s is, he was quick to answer.

“I think one of the secrets of this place is the old grill,” he said. “It’s been in service for 40 years – and it’s well seasoned. I also think the environment is a factor too. It’s an old diner style which I think people enjoy and also the fact we know people when they come in.”

He has some definite ideas about the economy and its effects on society, particularly when it comes to President Obama’s stimulus package.

“I am concerned – maybe the stimulus package was not best thought out,” he said. “But I think something had to be done. Locally, it is going to impact our community. For one thing, tax cuts will result in my employees taking more money home with each paycheck. But also, locally, a lot of people have lost jobs, and I’ve seen the effects of that trickle down.”

He’s optimistic about most food services establishments and especially businesses like his that serve up hamburgers.

“While I have a certain level of concern, I also have a level of comfort as well,” he said. “I believe I have a loyal customer base and I think hamburgers will be around a long time. They’re affordable – and the environment in which we serve them here takes people back. We don’t have a lot of overhead and we are very cautious about our capital expenditures.”

Asked for a final word of advice, especially for small business owners, Poarch cut to the chase.

“If I were to give a word of advice, it would be to tell people not to give up,” he said. “Don’t let down – just keep on truckin’. Sure, we may have to step up, accept a cut in salary and maybe give up a few luxuries for a while – but I believe we can get through it.  Sustainability will pay off.”

For more information about Oma’s Jiffy Burger, call 972-937-9190.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com

To recommend a local small business or story idea for this series, contact Daily Light Editor Neal White at neal.white@wninews.com or call 469-517-1457.