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November 30, 2018
I am a firm believer that we continue to grow and learn throughout our lives. Do you agree? Over the last three years I have learned a great deal about business…best practices for running a business, how businesses affect one another, how businesses contribute to their communities, etc. You could say I have a completely new perspective on businesses and business practices.
Until Tammy and I purchased Giggle Monkey Toys in August 2014 I had very little exposure to or training in business practices. I was an educator. I really didn’t need to know how businesses worked (although, I have to admit that I was curious about and intrigued by my College Roommate’s success in business when I knew he had training in biology!). Now, I do.
One of the valuable lessons I learned is the importance of small businesses in the local community. In August of 2014 as Tammy and I developed our business plan and discussed our business philosophy we knew that it would be important for us to be a good community business. We wanted to support local causes and contribute to the betterment of the community. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Now I know that this is not unique…it is common for locally owned businesses to make such contributions to their communities. Does Amazon? How about big box stores? Nope!
In this day when big box stores dominate our landscape and Amazon seems to be trying to take over the world (there’s a topic for another post!), it is the small businesses that are the economic engines of local economies. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, the local economic return of independent businesses in the community is nearly four times that of chain stores (see graphic) and nearly 50 times that of on-line mega retailers!
I recently took a car trip to Southwest Georgia…a trip that took me off the major highways and through one small town after another. While the purpose of the trip was a happy occasion, the trip itself made me very sad. You see, many of these small towns, towns which were once not unlike Dahlonega, were empty…boarded up…in disrepair…devoid of any meaningful lifestyle. Perhaps you have seen similar towns in your travels. I have to wonder what makes the difference in the fate of these little towns. Clearly, based on the buildings in their downtown area, they had once had thriving businesses. But today…their local economies were dead.
As we enter this holiday shopping season, please remember the importance of supporting your local businesses. It is not just the owners’ livelihood that is at stake…it may very well be the livelihood of your local economy as well.
Our hope is that during this holiday season you will find peace, love, and joy…oh..oh…and time to play!