After talking with a local merchant a couple weeks ago, I just can't get out of my mind the notion that local business owners may not be working together to survive a challenging economy. This morning I read a really touching article that talked about a time when all hope seemed lost for many people. The town was Canton, Ohio and the period was the depression. One man, anonymously helped others. Not in huge or grand ways but in small and important ways. Kindness in Canton Now I know times are different and I think doing things anonymously seems like it would be more challenging but the point is someone who was able helped others.
We can do that too. Now more than any other time we all need to work together to come up with ways to bring business to our small communities. Retail merchants need to rally around each other and put together 'events' that draw the residents of the community to come and enjoy their local merchants. We are not competing with each other we are experiencing the economy together...why not? Aren't we our best resource for support and new ideas?
The other way we can support our local small businesses is to do our best to buy local. I know there are many people who are shopping for families and they have to search for bargains...but many times small local shops are not too far off from the larger stores. We need to build our local economies so they can support the families that live within. These local economies, if they are thriving they are hiring...and this is important for our kids and adults who search daily for employment.
For those who are self-employed...our communities are our best source of small jobs that will keep us going and growing. These small businesses need help in so many areas but can't afford to "staff" their business so each are opportunities for people with talent to get a contract and help a business.
As I've said all along...though the times are challenging....they are also times that are forcing us to see making money in a different way. Being creative, inventive, original. Think about things you need or see that can be done better or differently. Instead of sitting and being focused on what isn't happening...think about what is and where you can fit in and get work.
If you are one of the lucky ones who are flush with cash ... maybe you can be one of the quiet heroes of your time because you are helping your community in quiet and anonymous ways? We can all do our part...in small ways...to support ourselves, our families and our community. It just takes doing.