Do you remember when you were young and all the businesses around town were locally owned and operated? The ice cream shop at the corner, was owned by your friend’s father. The hardware store was owned by your neighbor. The pizza parlor at the train station was owned by your father’s best friend. And every single small shop in our downtown area knew everyone’s name. As far as we’ve come in life, losing stuff like this in our town makes me sad. I love knowing everyone around town.
Bigger and Better. They introduced us to bigger stores and better deals. The bigger stores carry everything you need at half the price. It all seemed great at first, until all the smaller stores and small businesses started going out of business. Not only did it hurt the stores, it hurt the people we knew. They had to move to other towns to find work. It broke up friendships and unity.
Bigger isn’t always better. Instead of using manufacturer in America, they are taking all these jobs overseas. Factory, after factory have had to close because they lost all their jobs to companies overseas. The reason everything is cheaper is because it costs them pennies to make. I’ve read and watched documentaries on what it’s like for people overseas who work at these factories. They’re barely making a few dollars a day. They must live in the dormitory owned by the company they work for, which in turn they must pay rent to the same company. Basically, since they can’t live outside the factory’s community, all the money they are making at these factories is taken back to pay for their stay. It’s sad.
We all want to save a few dollars when we purchase something. We need to learn of the repercussion of choosing larger stores, over a locally owned business. There are statistics of how the money spent locally, 63% stays local. Money spent on non-local business, only 43% stays local. Wouldn’t you rather help your community? You can’t blame it on anybody else, when the value of your community starts going down, when the value of your home starts depreciating. Have you driven down your main street? Or your downtown in your town? Are there a lot of empty store fronts? Is it too late to start helping the businesses in your community before they are all gone?
Small Business Saturday was started by American Express. It is the Saturday right after Thanksgiving. American Express realized the importance of small businesses and they knew how much power they had, so they decided to put it to good use. Small Businesses across America are grateful for the attention American Express has brought to all these locally owned stores. I might not be as big as American Express, but I will make a difference by spending my money at restaurants, shops, and stores that are locally owned in my community.