Thomas R. Higgins Accounting, LLC recently won the 2015 Business Excellence Award at the Missouri Main Street Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Old Town Cape nominated TRH Accounting because for more than 30 years, this accounting firm has called Downtown Cape Girardeau home, and has rooted itself as a community supporter and advocate for Cape Girardeau’s historic district. From the top down, this small business exemplifies the attitudes and behaviors of an outstanding, successful entity and is more than deserving of the Business Excellence Award.
Opening its doors in a rented space along a major downtown corridor in 1977, TRH Accounting was ready and eager to serve the accounting needs of the community. Their very first client was a downtown business – a theater. They were able to work through the financial highs and lows with this business, and started witnessing firsthand the rewards that come with being a part of a downtown community.
As business picked up and their clientele base continued to grow, TRH Accounting decided it was time to make a change, a permanent change. Official downtown roots were established when a building just a few blocks down the road was purchased and became the entity’s new home. Steps from the picturesque courthouse, across the street from an established jewelry business, just up from the community clock, TRH Accounting settled into the place it would call home for more than 25 years.
While an accounting office isn’t what you might think of first when analyzing a typical downtown ‘retail landscape’, this organization has a multitude of services and talents to offer the community. From tax preparation and payroll services, to bookkeeping, financial statement preparation and more, this staff is equipped to help properly manage some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’, not-so-glamorous elements of area businesses. During busy seasons or when a big project is coming due, the lights in this downtown building will be on into the late evening hours as this team diligently defends their motto, ‘Accurate and timely service to small business has ALWAYS been our promise.’
TRH Accounting is led by Cape Girardeau resident, Thomas R. Higgins. Although not a native of our area, Tom considers Cape to be home and can think of no better place to own and operate a business. Moving from a high traffic area to a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly location, Tom loves the fact that he can walk out of his business, talk with others and get to know his neighbors, and loves the sense of community that downtown offers. He has often remarked that his business neighbors and partners are more like family than associates. His hometown values of commitment to clients, superior customer service, dedication to the community and putting client needs first, resonates throughout his 4-person staff and, in turn, throughout the community as well.
Speaking of the community, Tom is actively vested in various organizations. He serves on the finance committee for the United Way of Southeast Missouri and also contributes to the development of the organization in several different capacities. He serves on the Board of Directors of EPIC, Early Prevention Impacts Community, a substance abuse prevention program for youth in Southeast Missouri. The Knights of Columbus and St. Vincent’s Church are also organizations he invests his time and resources into to further each of their missions, as well as to contribute to their collective community impact.
Tom was active in the Downtown merchants Association for years before its merger into Old Town Cape. When Old Town Cape was formed, he served as one of the organization’s founding board members. Throughout his 15-year tenure, he served as Vice-President, President and, for 3 years, Treasurer. To keep the revitalization movement going strong, he continues to actively be involved in various committees and events. His accumulated gamut of ideas and strategic input has built a legacy of influence to Downtown Cape Girardeau’s revitalization that will be realized for years to come.
Aside from his leadership capacity, Tom is committed to helping his business peers be successful. He realizes the skills and talents TRH Accounting offers are extremely valuable to the success of a small business, and often offers them for free or at a reduced rate. While some business owners would take time away from their establishments to make these community investments, this entire organization is involved in such development and every employee contributes what he or she can.
Building revitalization is near and dear to Tom’s heart. He has owned and lovingly maintained one of the ‘old’ downtown buildings, keeping it an active facet of the area. Embracing the upper story development that’s classic of the Main Street Approach, Tom created an upstairs apartment (perfect for a son in college) with his business operating out of the first floor. As his family matured, so did the building, and the upstairs was transformed into more office space.
When asking his staff, his family and friends why downtown is so important to Tom and why he continues to keep his small business in this area, they will undoubtedly tell you that downtown is what keeps his pulse going. The history that’s kept alive through revitalization efforts is what’s making his journey special and unique; you can’t just walk into this environment anywhere. It’s businesses like Thomas R. Higgins Accounting, LLC and business owners like Tom that create this special culture. Congratulations, Tom!
Pictured below: William Zickfield, fellow downtown business neighbor and Old Town Cape volunteer, accepted the 2015 Business Excellence Award on behalf of TRH Accounting, LLC, from Dr. Steven Hoffman, Missouri Main Street Connection Board of Directors President and Old Town Cape Board Member.