…KEEP SMALL BUSINESSES FROM GOING DARK
I overheard a conversation the other day between two gentlemen who were discussing the early demise of a neighborhood eatery. Being familiar with the little shop I listened as one of the men regaled upon the other how the subject business was in operation for just a little more than a year before it folded.
The man commented on the amount of money and labor that was put into restoring the old building to its former glory, updating the interior and preserving the exterior. He spoke of the ample availability of parking and how nice it was to have that little family oriented shop in the neighborhood.
It was shame that the shop had such a short-lived existence. How sad it was when it quietly closed its doors. And after all that was said he admitted that he himself had never set foot inside.
At this point I stopped listening, reminiscing instead about a little art gallery that was located just down the street from that small shop, the only art gallery in town. It offered a myriad of original jewelry, pottery, sculptures, photography and paintings ranging from $30 to $3,000 – a little something for everyone. The gallery flourished for the first year and then put up a really good fight midway through the second year before it too succumbed to a failing economy.
I remembered also, how amazed I was at the number of people who stopped in during those final days to say, “I pass by here every day and this is my first time in. Sorry to hear that you are closing,” or “I live just a few doors down but I’ve never been in,” and “It was really nice to have a gallery in town, it’s a shame you have to close.” “I’m so sorry I missed your artist receptions, I heard they were really nice.”
The shame of course is that those people who dislike big box stores and thought these small businesses were good for the neighborhood, those who looked through the windows but rarely or never set foot inside, those who saw the value after the fact, are the very people who could have made a difference.
Thankfully for that little gallery the “closing” was converted into a move to a new location. We have yet to see our heyday as we continue to struggle to balance the scales between “need” and “want” in a tough economic environment, but we push forward and for now I still own the only art gallery in town. Check us out at www.handyconcepts.com or email us to ask about our payment plan or gift cards at firstname.lastname@example.org. We support the American Diabetes Association and the Disabled American Veterans by donating 5% of all art sales to either organization.
If there is a small business in your neighborhood give it a fighting chance before you allow it to go dark. The power is in your hands.
PS. Remember, November 30, 2013 is Small Business Saturday.