New Documentary Video Series Showcases the Small Businesses that Define Cleveland

by

comment
The first episode of Behind the Sign hit the Internet last week, and we're definitely excited to see more from this series by Cleveland SGS. 

In this debut, the filmmakers chronicle the work of Earl Phillips, owner of U-Need-A-Sign Company on East 131st Street. Phillips has been at it since 1960, and you've certainly seen his iconic red-white-and-blue handiwork at some point all over town. 



What's so great about this series — and about other projects under the SGS aegis — is that the men and women helming small businesses in Cleveland really do form the backbone of this city's economy. They're rooted in history and blood and sweat. They have stories to tell about how we got to where we are — stories that both contrast and complement the downtown development boom narrative with context and depth. 

"In 1960, I was the first brother to move into this neighborhood with a business," Phillips says. "(laughing) Are you listening? I didn't make no waves, and the customers came, you know.



"I'm one of the few old-timers still around..."




We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.