Two new Sedalia businesses will be celebrating joining the community with ribbon cuttings this weekend.

After being under construction since this spring, Big O Tires, 4106 W. Broadway Blvd., opened its doors Aug. 17. 

MFA Oil Co., a Big O Tires franchisee based in Columbia, operates the new Sedalia location.

“We are a full-service shop and we are looking forward to serving the automotive needs of Sedalia and Pettis County residents,” Charlie Alexander, Big O Tires director of operations for MFA Oil, said in a news release. “Whether you need tires, an oil change, alignment, brakes, shocks and struts or you simply want to keep up with your factory scheduled maintenance, we can do it all.”

According to the release, the store has seven employees, and at least two additional staff members are expected to be hired. Josh Petree serves as the store’s manager.

The Sedalia store has seven automotive service bays and is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Big O Tires will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration with the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28.

MFA Oil has owned and managed Big O Tires franchise stores since 1998. It operates 22 stores across Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Primerica Financial Services

After being out of the Sedalia market for decades, Primerica Financial Services has returned to the city with a new location at 1313 W. 16th St.

Alina and Andrey Shcherbina own the Sedalia location, which Alina said coincidentally is in the same building it was 20 years ago. The couple moved to Sedalia in March and Alina has been meeting with clients, but they officially opened the location earlier this month. 

Alina Shcherbina said she has been working with Primerica for more than 10 years and is licensed in the security industry. Andrey is originally from the area, and Alina saw an opportunity to open a Sedalia branch.

“Every time we come to visit family, I sit down with people who are immigrants, Ukrainians, Russians. A lot of them don’t take advantage of what’s available to them,” Shcherbina explained. “Like they have the option to participate in 401K, but they don’t, and they don’t understand, so they don’t do it. Really providing that education (is why we opened in Sedalia). 

“I’m an immigrant; my parents came to America,” she continued. “Belarus where I’m from, there’s no such thing as 401K or life insurance; it’s not something they could have taught me. … Our goal is to come here and be a way to help these families and help them understand why it’s important so they can make better choices for themselves and retire one day and provide for their families.”

Shcherbina said Primerica is a leading provider of financial products to middle-income households in the U.S. and Canada. 

“Our goal is to be the solution to the financial problems people are facing today,” she said. “For over 40 years, we’ve been helping families by teaching them fundamental financial principles and how to apply them, reduce debt, plan for the unexpected, plan for retirement or kids’ college. … Sometimes people think finances are so complicated, but they’re really not — you just need someone to sit down and explain it in easy to explain words.”

As regional vice president, 17 people report to Shcherbina’s office in Sedalia, but about seven of those work out of state. She said many representatives are multi-lingual.

Primerica will host a ribbon-cutting with the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. A barbecue will follow.