Against All Odds, Selma Business Owner Finds Success through Perseverance and is Nationally Recognized as the SBA 2023 Alabama Small Business of the Year

Business owners meet SBA Administrator Guzman

Born in Selma, Alabama, Daryl Thomas was diagnosed with cerebral palsy from an early age with unfavorable prognoses. There were doubts about his ability to walk and speak understandably. After many years of physical, speech, and occupational therapy, Daryl began to live a life of thrills and accomplishments.

He excelled in academics, being top of his class in high school and receiving a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama. Upon graduation, the search for employment was difficult given his disability, however he was able to find his start. After several years of accounting employment through various local government offices, churches, medical facilities, and while running his income tax business on the side, Daryl Thomas decided it was time to turn his side business into a full-time business. Thus, Thomas Accounting and Income Tax Services was created in 2009 out of his home. By 2015, he was able to move his business to the current location on Broad Street in Selma, Alabama. Daryl and his full-time employees provide accounting and tax services for local small businesses, churches, and nearly 400 individuals during tax season.

Like many small businesses, the pandemic strained revenues, but Daryl was able to take advantage of SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and keep his business operating. Additionally, his business managed to survive a devastating tornado that occurred in Selma on January 12, 2023, damaging many homes and businesses.

Throughout his life, Daryl has been deeply involved in his community, church, schools, nonprofits, and his fraternity.  He seeks to serve in more ways than just as a business leader. It is for his service and accomplishments that he was named the 2023 Alabama Small Business Person of the Year.  Daryl and his wife were able to travel to Washington DC, meet SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, be ceremonially recognized, and receive his well-deserved and hard-earned award.

In the last few years, his motor skills have significantly declined. He has lost the ability to walk, and his speech ability has also declined. However, it is evident that he has never lost his spirit, intellect, drive, or determination. His accomplishments far exceed what most imagined could be possible with his disability. He has never let his cerebral palsy limit his goals and his story is a powerful reminder of the importance of perseverance in life and business.

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.