Friday, November 7, 2014

Remember the Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are American Heroes too
"Attention Holiday Shoppers,"  booms from the loudspeaker as we enter the specialty gifts section of the department store. I remember those days as a kid. Today, I don't hear so many of those announcements. But then again, I tend to avoid those big department stores. You may say, crowds, lines, parking nightmares.... Sure, I say that too. But the reason I stay away from big box stores more and more is because they tend to lack the personal touch I like when I shop. Truthfully, I hate to shop.  My idea of Christmas shopping is , "click, click, enter, done!"  But small shops in my neighborhood are the best places to find unique gifts, cards, and clothing items for just about everyone on my gift list and I don't have to pay shipping or an annual membership fee.

I've lived near Old Town Alexandria, Virginia - a great seaside small town feeling with lovely stores, cafes, and venues where shopping doesn't feel like shopping at all due to the hometown feeling you get.  Similar places like Morro Bay, California, Manhattan Beach, California, and El Segundo, California - all have superbly charming main streets where you can find the very best of shops run by local entrepreneurs. I'm certain that wherever you live, you have a Main Street USA-type of neighborhood nearby as well. When is the last time you thought about supporting those local employers - your neighbors? Well, here's hoping that they'll be "top of mind" on your next outing.

Collectively, small and local businesses account for 65% (or 9.8 million) of the 15 million new jobs created in our country according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. So when you consider your holiday shopping, I hope that you'll remember some of the unknown American heroes - small business, those little shops who employ your kids, your neighbors' kids, you and your friends. Small shops make your community a thriving place for everyone.  So, "Attention Shoppers: Please remember to support small businesses."  

The holidays are a time of giving thanks, and we'd like to thank all of our true heroes, including our neighborhood entrepreneurs.

All the best,
L.M. Meier, CEO