I’ve been searching for the right words for this post for a while now. As we near the Christmas season it’s been on my mind even more. While searching for inspiration, I came upon a blog written by a business owner in North Carolina. Her words hit the truth of what I’ve been feeling (and hearing) from many local businesses.
I called Erica, the Owner of The Sophisticated Pair, a lingerie shop in Burlington, NC to get her permission to share her words with you. While I am pulling out just some of her original post, you can read her full article here.
“My Facebook status stream is pleasantly awash today in a flurry of hashtag ridden posts reminding friends to #shopsmall for #smallbusinesssaturday accompanied by images with inspirational quotes about how … small businesses support a family, pays for dance lessons, funnels money into the community, and improves the economy.
Small businesses are often passion driven and innovative, started by people who want to make a change in the world around them, but success is hardly guaranteed. Failure rates are high, and customers frequently assume the owner is rolling in the cash or “getting rich” from sales. Small businesses can lend you financial stability, but they can also place you on the verge of financial ruin, to say nothing of the tremendous strain they place on personal relationships.
What you perceive as a successful business owner could be one on the verge of bankruptcy and divorce. We’re all faking it until we make it, but the problem is some never do make it. It’s a hard path to walk, and small business Saturday at least tries to reward those who choose it. …many owners motivate customers with sales and discounts to boost the gross for the day at the expense of their profit margin.
Why are we limited to a day? Why isn’t it small business Saturday every day?
Like my friends who want to spread small business cheer, I had planned a post extolling the numerous reasons why—in the midst of big box retailers engaging in price competitions this [coming] weekend—you should take one day, just one, to shop with the small stores and restaurants owned by normal people with big dreams. But I’ve done that before, and this year, words failed me.
Everyone talks about what makes small businesses great, but people still turn to Amazon or department stores to score savings. No, this year, I am not interested in figures about what small businesses do for the economy or how much of our money goes back into the community. Instead, I am interested in the bold, courageous, compassionate, crazy, wonderful people who put themselves out there and do their damnedest to make their dreams come true. I’m talking about the entrepreneurs behind the business. They also happen to be some of the best people you will ever meet.“
I can’t think of a single small business, even successful ones, that did not have a period where they struggled. It’s hard to watch something you poured so much effort and time into flounder, and most small business owners are empathetic when they see a fellow entrepreneur going through the same issues.
No one understands the daily struggles like another small business owner, and the amount of support received and given to each other is enough to remind all of us that kindness and generosity do exist. If you shop small for no other reason, do it to support the truly inspiring people of the world who are trying to make their dreams and the dreams of others come true.
Show Love For Local- All year
This holiday season you get to decide where to put your money. Our goal with Cedar Rapids Marketplace is to make it EASY for you to shop local – you don’t even need to leave your home. We’ve added some great products and gifts to the site. We’re organizing the local shopping events so you don’t need to look for them. We’re promoting local businesses that are trying to get your attention.
Please know that being a small business owner is more than the cute graphics and hashtags that you’ll see for the upcoming #SmallBusinessSaturday or and our own #ShowLoveForLocal. Our small businesses continue all year long, well beyond this one day. We hope that your support of our businesses will as well.