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Due to a toxic combination of short-sighted selfishness, lack of national leadership, and outright incompetence on many levels, we are about to lose one of the foundations of our economy, Small Business. Small Business is responsible for most of the jobs, most of the choices, and most of the personalized attention we enjoy commercially.
Taking a Big Hit!
It was hard enough for independently-owned small businesses to survive the initial months of the lock- down when the virus first hit. Then, working closely with the health authorities, they cautiously reopened with major safeguards in place. Most spent thousands of dollars to comply with the new restrictions and regulations.
But less than 90% of the population wore masks and practiced social distancing (the percentage necessary to continue with relaxed restrictions). Cases spiked and hospitalization and deaths accelerated. They were shuttered again! This time, sadly for many, for good! Small businesses are disproportionally hit by the closures and folding at a lightening clip across the country.
The Death of Charm
It’s the small independent shops that are more likely to employ you, provide high quality goods, and yes, remember your name. It’s the small shops in the limited commercial areas that provide the “charming” human-scale shopping neighborhoods and foot traffic within walking distance of your home. These businesses provide essential goods and services, and unique cuisine that give color, personality, and flavor to our communities. And now they are closing!
What will be left? The big supermarkets and the big box stores. The national chains. Get ready for an impersonal shopping experience where they’ve got you captive without an alternative. Get ready for reduced choices. Get ready for increased pricing once the competition is gone. And get ready for boredom. Big box stores are the death of charm.
We believe the small independent shops and restaurants are worth saving for many, many reasons. That’s why we go out of our way to spend every dollar locally. We deliberately support our local restaurants, pharmacies, and hardware stores. We make a point of supporting our local services and buying from our local farmers’ markets and food markets. It’s our way of voting with our purchases for our own local economy.
Won’t you join us in throwing out this critical life-line to your own small, independent businesses that add value to our lives in so many ways? Let’s do all we can to save this critical foundation of our economy and support the folks in our community who support us.
We Are Co-dependent
We see the Big Boys moving in on local business. They think there will be more for them if these little guys fail. But ironically most of the shoppers who support them are employed at those same small businesses. So, losing those businesses and their employees will ultimately hurt them. We call it the trickle up effect. It’s based on the understanding that all business starts with local business.
Think Global, Shop Local
Take a look at your shopping list and see what’s on it that you could possibly buy from your local independent small businesses. Your purchases may be the key to their survival. They will meet you at curbside and greet you by name. And if they survive all this, they will hire your family and spend their dollars locally. They will give startups and their new products a chance. They will provide you with alternatives and add a level of human vibrancy to your community that the Big Boys can’t even imagine.
When the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths go up, small businesses go down. It’s as simple as that. Thank you for wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.