The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that seven out of 10 new businesses survive at least two years.
About half make it five years, a third at least 10 years and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more.
A very small percentage ever reach the century mark.
George’s Flowers, a family-run flower shop started in Carlisle back in 1910 by Scottish immigrants, is one of those longevity stories.
Still being run today by the grandchildren of the founders, William Smith George and his wife Jane, George’s continues to be known around the Carlisle area for its quality arrangements and large inventory of fresh flowers as well as friendly customer service.
And, of course, when most people around town think of George’s, they likely think of Jimmie and Nancy George, the longtime owners of the shop.
Even in their early 80s, the siblings are still active in various community organizations around Carlisle, including library boards and church groups.
Both stressed the importance of volunteering and serving the community, having learned that from their parents.
During his life, their father, J. Duff George, was president of the school board and borough council. Their mother, Ruth Kruger George, was also active in the church and in other community efforts.
“Our parents were great civic folks,” said Nancy. “We need more people to do it.”
At one time, Jimmie served on borough council and Nancy on school board – one of many caps each has worn over the years.
“When I think of George’s Flowers and Jimmie and Nancy, I think of a couple of things,” said Chris Houston, assistant director of the Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership, which oversees the housing and redevelopment authorities in both counties. “Loyalty to community. This goes for the business, Jimmie and Nancy.”
Jimmie George served on the joint board of the authorities for more than 30 years, stepping down this year.
“I have never known Jimmie or Nancy to complain about how things should be. Instead, they are proactive, take charge and make things happen,” Houston added. “Neither Jimmie nor Nancy have ‘No’ in their vocabulary when it comes to being asked to help a community organization or individuals in a time of need.