I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are changing now that small businesses are disappearing. Maybe it’s just the area I live in, but there are so few that off the top of my head I can only think of a handful of nail and hair salons and two non-chain restaurants. That’s a sad thought.
When we first moved here 24 years ago there were plenty of small businesses and they gave our area a unique flavor. We had a fabulous bridal shop that people came from surrounding areas to shop. We had a local bank which we loved that was sadly purchased by a large corporate chain a few years ago and the service has never been the same. We miss the personal touch – the small town feel right here in the suburbs.
We live just 20 minutes southeast of Seattle but we’ve been corporatized so that we could be anywhere in the USA. I miss the local specialties and items you could only purchase here. Now there’s nothing special that you can’t buy or eat at a million other retailers nationwide.
The problem with large scale is quality is sometimes sacrificed. Local bakers can afford to use quality ingredients and provide a fabulous product. It’s harder when you’re making products that have to withstand travel and shelf life – that’s why they’re stuffed full of preservatives and processed by machines. I missed buying fresh baked bread made daily. Thankfully I now have access to a small bakery through my online shopping vendor (Seattle only) so I still get access even though they’re no longer in my neighborhood. Though the vendor I’m buying it through is a behemoth, I’m buying from local and small shops I wouldn’t have access to without driving into Seattle, so it’s a win/win.
As small businesses disappear I think more people will realize the value they bring to the community. That’s why I shop small whenever I have the choice. I want to keep my dollars in my community and support companies that provide quality products.
Can shopping small make a difference?
I think so. Small businesses like mine work hard to keep our products affordable while still providing outstanding service. Shopping with me allows me continue to do that for my customers. I like to think my customers shop with me because they know they’re dealing with the business owner. It’s my job to make their transaction great, every single time.
Small Business Saturday®
If you’re an American Express customer, you can score a $25 Statement Credit just for shopping. Restrictions apply – see American Express $25 Statement Credit Cardmember Offer for Small Business Saturday® rules for more details.
The holidays are the busiest shopping days of the season. Please consider spending some of your dollars to support small businesses like mine every day but especially on Small Business Saturday®.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Express. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. All opinions are my own.
- Small Business Saturday: Support and Shop Small November 24, 2012 #SmallBizSat #spon (miscfinds4u.com)
- More small businesses jumping into Small Business Saturday (bizjournals.com)