The celebration of Christ’s birth means increased revenue for many businesses via holiday shopping. But some owners and operators operate their businesses through Christian principles year-round.

Chick-fil-A is scheduled to open on U.S. Highway 190 in Cove on Feb. 6. The company has caused some controversy for operating by its religious beliefs as a national chain.

“No matter what happens, we aim to treat everyone with honor and respect,” said Stephen Kennedy, the owner/operator of the new Cove Chick-fil-A. “And while we close on Sundays, we do it as an opportunity for everybody. Whether you want to go to church or play golf, we believe that having this day off is important, and specifically Sunday has its importance in being a day of rest.”

The owners of GymKix, also on U.S. Highway 190, are not shy about expressing their religious beliefs to customers.

“We try to reflect God’s values and morals,” said owner Carrie Harris. “We are by no means perfect; we simply try to be honest and fair in all of our customer relations. You’ll find biblical references and inspirational quotes throughout our building, but we feel that our business practices and personal demeanor should reflect our Christianity more than anything.”

Opened in 2001, GymKix has maintained its religious beliefs throughout the years, and they remain a strong aspect of what the company does and how it markets itself.

“We try not to shove our beliefs in people’s faces,” Harris said. “However, we have had some people refuse to do business with us because of our beliefs saying the messages on our walls made them uncomfortable. We firmly believe that our gym is a place for all people. We welcome everyone and ensure they are comfortable and treated equally — regardless if they believe the same things we do.”

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