Today is small business day -- a nice concept but, quite frankly, simply not enough to support these hardworking businesses. It's harder than ever before for small businesses to compete against their massive corporate competitors.
The American economy is suffering through long periods of non-growth (for lack of a better term). Salaries have remained flat for years now and many jobs have been eliminated all together. Consumers have less money to spend and Corporate America makes their products and services appealing to these consumers by flashing low price tags. But the low price tag is only the enticement -- consumers need to look much closer to really see what's going on here.
With each passing year, consumers pay more for products that continually shrink -- giving them less and less for their hard earned money. The benefactors in this situation are big corporations who increase their profits. The losers... consumers and small businesses. It's business as usual as these corporations continue to figure out new ways to eliminate small businesses and more jobs.
It's time to stop the madness. Small businesses need our support more than just one day out of the year. Corporate America becomes larger and stronger every day by opening more stores and continuing to undersell the Mom and Pops -- making it ever more difficult for them to compete. (continued below)
It may sound like paranoia, but envision a future where every single American works for one of five major corporations. Actually, we'll be lucky if there are that many options left at the time. Competition is what made this country great. While it may seem like it's a level playing field, the big boys always figure out ways to get an unfair advantage.
If each town and each New Jerseyan supports its local economy EVERY day of the year, we might be able to retain our independence and our American right to having options. Our local economies would thrive, the quality of products and services would rise, and jobs would be plentiful and more satisfying to those filling the positions.
Granted, this is a somewhat simplistic model -- obviously -- there will always be certain products and services we can't obtain locally. However, if you start locally and expand out from there, your most local region will benefit first. The next time you're looking to make a purchase, think in this order; your own town, your own county, your own state, nationally, and finally globally.
Many will argue that Corporate America creates local jobs, but in reality it ends there. These corporations are otherwise faceless and impersonal. The bulk of jobs they create are low-paying with no real ability for career advancement. Demotivated staff generally handle customers by reciting company policies instead of using common sense. Mom and Pops, on the other hand, strive to provide top-quality day in and day out -- they have to provide outstanding services since they don't see the high volume of customers that larger chains do.
As a general rule, you'll pay more for local products and less for those manufactured near the global end of the list. However, it's important to remember that a lower price can be indicative of an inferior product or service. Customer service goes a long way when you're getting nowhere with an automaton who works for a company with a "rubber stamp" mentality. In the end, you may have saved a few dollars on your initial purchase, but you always need to factor in true quality as well as the value of your overall experience.
We urge you to support local businesses ALL year long... not just on small business day. After all, if the culmination of a year's worth of work and all your customers came to you just one day out of the year, do you really think you'd still be employed for the other 364?