Jackson print shop owner named Small Business Person of the Year

JACKSON, MI – Joe Sharpe has been very active in the Jackson community, personally and with his Printer Source Plus business.

Sharpe is the 2022 recipient of the Small Business Person of the Year award from the Jackson County Chambers of Commerce. He received the award because his company was innovative in the implementation of its services, products and programs, according to the chamber.

“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “Thirteen years ago, when I quit drinking and doing drugs, I couldn’t imagine winning those awards.”

He started his business with his mother in 2006, where they both aimed to offer cheaper and more durable solutions for refilling ink and toner. They then expanded their inventory, including printers and scanners, he said.

Then, in 2018, he bought the company from his parents, giving him full ownership of Printer Source Plus and handing it over to an Epson-level reseller, hoping to provide an even more sustainable option to the community, he said.

“I felt like Epson was falling into my business model,” Sharpe said.

While other small businesses have suffered from the pandemic, Printer Source Plus has thrived, he said.

“It’s the sustainable product, we’ve just started to spread the word,” he said.

Along with their products, they have even worked to “bring color back” to places like schools or churches, he said. While offering Epson, he was able to reduce color ink costs, he said. Many schools and churches have retired color ink due to the cost of printing, but with costs reduced it is hoped color will be brought back, he said.

Sharpe thinks children learn best when books and papers are printed in color rather than black and white, he said. So it was important for his company to be able to offer that to children, he said.

Along with his business, Sharpe is also involved with other Jackson County organizations.

Sharpe is also involved with the Mission of Hope Cancer fund and Isaiah’s Hub, a nonprofit mentoring organization in Jackson. He enjoys impacting the area’s teenagers as they are at the age when they are starting to feel peer pressure, he said. His own recovery journey made him want to help others, he said.

“I’m active in the recovery community and that’s close to my heart,” he said.

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