FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 24, 2022
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recognized Simon’s Shoes of Henderson, Kentucky as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, each week I recognize an outstanding Kentucky small business that exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit. This week, it is my privilege to recognize Simon’s Shoes of Henderson, Kentucky as the Senate Small Business of the Week.
Operating a small business requires unparalleled commitment and perseverance, traits that have been inherited to each successive generation of the Simon Family. Jacob Simon immigrated to Henderson, Kentucky from Lithuania in 1910, following his two brothers who made Henderson their new home years prior. He began as a peddler selling merchandise across the county, but at times found it difficult to attract clients due to his lack of English. Insistent on improving his craft, Jacob developed a sense of trust with the locals as his career as a peddler led him to become a steadfast member of the community. As such, it did not take long for Jacob to embrace Henderson as his home. In the following years, Jacob mastered English, became an American citizen, and opened Simon’s Shoes in January 1919.
In addition to footwear, Simon’s Shoes offered a diverse array of clothing, and the store quickly became known for carrying any type of garment one could desire, from suits to base layers. His childhood in Lithuania and initial years in America had taught Jacob key principles of saving and being conservative with money, which were integral to the success of his business and the store’s ability to survive the Great Depression. When Jacob’s son, Larry, became involved in the family business, they decided to narrow the focus of the store to specialize in shoes.
As the store continued to flourish, Larry, who eventually took ownership of the business, was able to purchase the former J.C. Penny building next door and use this space for the store’s inventory. The decades of success made Simon’s Shoes a destination for people across the state and beyond. To this day, residents from Evansville, Owensboro, Louisville, St. Louis, as well as tourists traveling along the Ohio River make the journey to visit Simon’s Shoes. Customers are continuously attracted by their wide range of shoes, inclusive of varying sizes and widths, and their benefits as a full-service store.
Three generations of the Simon family have been involved in the operations of Simon’s Shoes, the latest Simon to take the reins being Larry’s son Bruce Simon. Even as the store passes down through the successive generations, the Simons remain active members of the business for as long as possible. In 1975, then 85-year-old Jake Simon told local newspaper The Gleaner, "When I draw my last breath, that store will be in my consciousness." Likewise, Larry continues to visit Simon’s Shoes often, stating that he would be in the store up to six days a week for several hours each day at 84 years of age. The Simons’ passion for their business has grown into a now-century long catalyst for its success, as the store that once occupied a fraction of the building on First and Main Street now consists of three buildings on the same corner. Congratulations to the entire Simon family and to the whole team at Simon’s Shoes. I look forward to seeing their continued growth and success in Kentucky.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Paul continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.