Supporting Local Business, Not Just a Saturday Thing.
Thirteen years old, I found myself employed. At the "Marina." A one stop shop. Marina, boat dealer, watersports retailer, and corner store. My method of transportation was a boat with a 4 horse power motor.
This was before the days of box stores, at least in the capacity they are now. And well before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday. We supported local because we wanted to support our friends. And have a business locally that we could get the necessities of life.
Today we still have friends that own businesses. Even amongst the ever changing landscape of retail. They are some of the smartest and hardest working people I know. And it is why I love supporting them, not just during the holidays, but as often as I can.
I sat down to write this piece last week. And something didn't vibe with me. So I waited. And let it all sit. Until today.
While this topic was sitting with me. I watched the Black Friday chaos. Then the quick switch to Small Business Saturday. Then all the feel good hype, drowned out by Cyber Monday. I watched my friends try to compete with the powerhouses of online sales. Some mad valiant efforts and I am sure where rewarded. I noticed others just do what they do and thrive.
Seeing this and hearing from a few friends who were in the trenches fighting the retail battle. Inspired me to create a piece about why I would rather support a local retailer than point and click. Please don't be mislead to think I am not one to ever use online sales. I do purchase things online. However when I can, I buy from local shops, even when I don't know the people behind the counter.
Here's three core reasons why I buy local.
1. Supporting the Underdog. I love seeing people who look at adversity, society's rules and trends. And give it the one finger salute, not the index finger, try the next one closer to the pinky. When I talk with these people the fire and passion ooze from their souls. Not only do I want to buy a coffee, sandwich or stand up paddleboard from them. I want to hear more about their story. But if I don't support them, they'll earn a living some other way. As they are entrepreneurs in real life, not just on Social Media. And the next place may not be one where we can interact.
2. Community. To me, there is nothing like walking into a restaurant, corner store or surf shop. And know the people who work there. Ask them how their day is. How the family is and have a few moments to be human. That shit does not happen on line. Even when we talk to "Judy" your online specialist.
3. Convenience. One day grabbing a gallon of milk and stick of butter at the spot up the street will be obsolete. And if you didn't order it from the delivery company. The family recipe for Apple Pie, will be altered or we will be out of luck this holiday. How do I know, I grew up with a tiny ass grocery store and bought butter and milk from the Marina. One day you'll miss that store that sells everything. From a deck of cards to coffee, since they had to go out of business. As point and click was way easier than stopping on the ride home.
We all should support local a bit more often. Not just on Saturday. Not during the holidays. But whenever we can. Because one day, we may need these radical humans, to support us.