So recently a local landmark has been ousted from our downtown area. This has prompted me to take off my mom hat for a few moments and put on my business owners hat for a moment.
Websters Bookstore in downtown
Owning a local business I know far too well how this can happen. My store offers a free play area for children to play along with coffee & snacks for parents/caregivers to sit and relax while their kids play. Our store, like Websters, is first and foremost a retail store and in order to pay then rent we have to sell a certain amount of merchandise each day in order for us to remain open. This sounds simple right? Well, I can tell you that there are days that the play area in my store has been very very busy, but cash register is at 0 sales for the day. Now that Websters is facing being closed their supporters are rallying and I pray that their supporters are able to secure the funds they need for their store to stay open. I think though that moving forward perhaps we as a community need to be a little more proactive about supporting our local businesses.
I know that because I own a business this may come across as a little rude. Trust me I know that its easier to go to Walmart or Target, you will probably save between $1-$5 too. The problem is we as local business owners strive to offer amenities and a level of customer service that the big box stores simply cannot offer . We share one commonality with the big box stores, we have bills to pay, but unlike these big box stores we usually see little to no return. . For the few that have been blessed to be uber successful my hat is off to you! I know first hand it was not just handed to you, you have worked your behind off to get where you are. For the rest of us though many times the businesses we pour our hearts and souls into end up putting a huge financial strain on our families and end up in ruin.
So here is the challenge that I offer to you. There is a project called the 3/50 project. http://www.the350project.net/home.html Check it out and I hope that you will accept the challenge! I am sure that if more people bought more than just a cup of coffee at Websters they would not be in this financial trouble right now. Frankly, it took owning my own business to open my eyes to how important it is to support your local stores, local restaurants etc.. I try to as much as possible but old habits die hard.
Currently, Websters in downtown
Thank you so much for your support of local businesses!