Classic American cars, a custom-made $35,000 motorcycle, craft beer and soft-serve ice cream are just a few examples of what small-business owners bring to the city of Whitehall.

"They are the backbone of our city," Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said.

Maggard -- joined by Kaitlin King, the city's community affairs manager; Joe Ryan, economic development manager; and Whitehall Chamber of Commerce secretary Jordan Moyer -- visited nine of the city's small businesses May 4.

In all, city officials visited about 50 small businesses April 29 through May 5 in recognition of National Small Business Week, King said.

It is the first year city officials have made such an outreach during National Small Business Week and did so at the urging of Development Director Zach Woodruff, Maggard said.

During the course of the year, Ryan periodically contacts or visits all businesses as part of the city's business-retention practices.

Ryan said a small business generally has fewer than 200 employees. He estimated Whitehall has about 400 small businesses, accounting for more than half of all businesses in the city.

At each stop May 4, city officials presented the owner or employees with a certificate of appreciation in recognition of National Small Business Week.

Stops included Jumbo's Sub Shop, 560 S. Yearling Road.

Owner Mary Arcand bought the sub shop as "a twenty-something" 30 years ago and kept the name.

Eighteen years ago, she relocated the eatery to its current South Yearling Road storefront from the Town and Country Shopping Center on East Broad Street.

"My customers are so great (and) I know what most want without them saying," said Arcand, adding she has customers whose children are now adults and also visit the store.

Whitehall's entourage also visited Ernie's Automotive, where co-owner Bill Moore greeted them while employees serviced a cherry-red convertible 1964 Ford Falcon in the garage bay.

"We do have a niche with classic cars, but we service anything," said Moore, whose father, Ernie Moore, opened the shop in 1978.

After visiting a small business dealing with four wheels, city officials move onto the two-wheel variety at Buckeye City Motorsports, 4106 E. Main St.

Constance Kibler, officer manager for Buckeye City Motorsports, gave Maggard a tour of the facility, pointing out some of the store's inventory, from Honda- and Yamaha-manufactured metric cruisers that cost about $7,000 to a custom-made Indian bike with a $35,000 price tag.

The motorcycle and accessory store opened three years ago after closing a store in Lancaster.

Maggard and other city officials also visited 2 Tones Brewing Company, Dairy Queen, Baum Insurance, Ange's Pizza, Whitehall Chiropractic and Alpha Dental on May 4.

kcorvo@thisweekcorvo

@ThisWeekCorvo