There was a time that people knew the owners of the businesses they patronized. They were the men you had lunch with either at the local fraternal organization or down at the luncheonette. You may have spoken with the married couple who ran a shop after church each Sunday. And so forth. Even if you grew up in a large city like I did, everyone knew everyone in their neighborhoods.
If half of the employed population spent $50 a month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.
The Project also tells us that $68 out of every $100 spent at local independent small businesses is returned to the community.
This little fact made me start thinking. I don’t talk about it much but The Mister and I are small business owners. Every time someone chooses to buy his artwork instead of a tchotchke made in China, it helps us support the local economy.
Let’s say a person walks into B&R Art Gallery in Canyon Country, CA (a northern suburb of Los Angeles) and buys
The buyer has just supported the following small businesses that operate within a few miles of us:
- The gallery owner
- McFann Artwork (That would be The Mister)
- The hard woods business that supplied the wood for the base
- The chemical business that supplied the chemicals for the patina (the color of the sculpture)
- The small foundry business that cast the piece
- The metals business that provided the bronze ingots
- The plaster business that provided the plasters for the mould and the ceramic clay for the shell (that the bronze gets poured into)
- The wax business that supplied the specialized wax that is used to replicate the sculpture and will be burned out of the ceramic shell
- The rubber business that supplied the specialized rubber and coating for the first mould (made around the original clay piece)
- The clayworks business that supplied the specific clay The Mister uses to “model” his figures
And I know I’m missing some!
There is a ripple effect when we buy from local independent small businesses. And the best part is that the customer service is phenomenal because, more than likely, you are interacting with the owner or a member of the family who is an expert in their specialty and they know that every customer matters to the business’ bottom line.
For example, several months ago The Mister was asked to repair a bronze sculpture located in a fountain at a nearby university. Because of the water (and probably a drunk student or two deciding to climb onto it), the sculpture had developed “bronze rot.” As he was looking at it, he discovered that a very poor repair job had been done to it previously that contributed to the rot. After a few phone calls to several of his usual suppliers for advice, he was able to locate a specific type of welding rod that he needed in order to repair the repair job and to repair the sculpture itself. Because he had a relationship with these other small businesses, he was able to trust their advice and do what needed to be done.
I believe that Small Business Saturday and being a Modern Retro Woman goes together like a hand and a glove. Support the “Moms and Pops on Main Street” today and every day of the year!