Don’t ‘Amazon’ the whole holiday
“Black Friday” will soon be here, and we’d like to put in our annual plug to forego the convenience of online and visit local retailers for your holiday shopping.
Solicitations from the country’s wealthy and marketing-savvy big businesses hit us at every turn — newspaper inserts, radio, television, junk mail, social media and email campaigns.
While we consumers drive this, we hope you will give thanks for and give some business to our mom-and-pop shops that operate right here in Fredericksburg.
In our country, we tend to treat largecompany CEOs like royalty or rock stars. Yet for every Steve Jobs or Jack Welch who makes their mark for innovation or efficiency, there are literally thousands of John Q. Public bosses not in the limelight who do what it takes to keep revenue flowing and watching expenses enough to make for a profitable bottom line.
For many of those small-business owners, their craft is a labor of love. They show loyalty to their customers because they are personally accountable to them. They show loyalty to their employees (while sometimes having to make painful adjustments) because those employees support their families with their earnings.
Small business owners share a camaraderie with others, who share their challenges and their successes. Rarely is their courage noted, though it surely takes gumption to step out, take risks and use an investment to pursue the American dream.
Your support of these small businesses can be seen as a return on an investment. Their support of the community is the return, evidenced by their donations to many causes and cases.
Their names are found on the sponsor lists for community events, for youth sports teams, and here in Fredericksburg, for many community betterment projects that locals choose to fund themselves rather than through government.
The energy they bring to their business each day inspires us. The savvy new retailers bring helps others learn and prove.
Small businesses can be underdogs in a land of mega-retailers. Yet in economic good times and bad, they persevere, they dream and they succeed.
But this season, and especially this Saturday, let’s say “thanks” by patronizing them. What they do is invaluable to the local economy, and we give thanks for their existence. – K.E.C.