Friday, December 18, 2015

Still planning to buy that imported seafood? Why you might want to think again

I just read the article below completely and I'm furious. Although I'd read a good portion via my phone last night, the popups were driving me crazy and I didn't finish it. And when I shared it on my Facebook page, all that happened was a couple of polite likes and that was it. So I just re-posted it with the comments below, because I think it's important and that it matters. Do you?

"It's funny, I can post a graphic of some words inside a Christmas tree and people will share it like crazy....but I post THIS and often no one even acknowledges it. I guess American Dragon - Michael McKeldon Woody (the page which shared the article, that you can find on Facebook here) is used to finding that out but damn is it frustrating for me to see. I'm willing to bet that right now across the country, seafood selections (frozen, etc) in many of the major chain stores are somewhat depleted with the holidays coming. So clearly the public IS buying it...does that mean you support this slave labor?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no better than you. I LOVE shrimp and sometimes I want to be selfish and just have what I want. But...the local seafood available in our area isn't cheap, and thus it's become a couple of times a year extravagance only...because I will not willingly support foods produced in this manner. And if you think about it, tossing back that crap you picked up at walmart wouldn't kill you either. Maybe when you do splurge it will be a local seafood market that's family owned and operated....and yep, perhaps you won't get to buy it as often. But you just might be keeping the local business IN business."

Googling brought up more articles, all from within the last 3 days. Hmm. Perhaps this story actually hit a nerve?

Care to learn more? Here are some links to Maryland Seafood (since that's near me).

American Dragon - Michael McKeldon Woody

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Where You Spend Matters | Think Before You Walk Into Another Chain Store

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our towns, neighborhoods and cities. They are more than "just" a building, or a shop, they are someone's life who loves where they live. Most owners don't do it for the money - they do it because they ARE the community and part of the community is in them. Don't wait. Invest in your independents now.

Every time you walk into a small business you are silently voting FOR THEM and against the generic all-under-one-roof store. I might pay $11 more for a vacuum cleaning at my local hardware shop....but I also didn't drive 40 minutes each way to Home Depot. Choose wisely. Live local.

It's not just about "shopping for gifts" at independent retailers. It's also about buying gift cards for the local coffee shop, passes to the family-owned amusement complex, tickets to the locally-owned movie theatre which STILL - after 50+ years - offers the same small town cinema experience! It's a gift certificate to the auto repair place on Main Street and treats for the dogs and cats from the pet supply coop. It's all about choosing where you spend!

Spend with the independents right in your community rather than the corporate chain stores.

Choosing to Use Locally-owned Businesses: "Why I'm Standing in a Tribles Appliance Parts Store"

I'm standing at the counter of a the local appliance parts/repair piece/fix it place. I'd ordered the part a few days ago and just picked it up, which for us IS well out of our comfort zone but some reckless voice inside our collective heads apparently spoke and we listened. Following a sort of breakdown in communication with an appliance repair guy, and knowing this shop was here, we have courageously (or was it drunkenly), opted to try and replace part of the dryer on our own. 

Yes, I know. This absolutely falls into "outside the box" behavior for us, but multiple service calls for the same continually failing mechanism have been both costly and annoying, leading us to in a moment of foolishness, believe that we could indeed fix it ourselves. Ha ha. We laughed too the next day when we thought it over, but it was too late; the dryer had already been on life support and was fading rapidly and we had to DO SOMETHING. 

I approached the task with my usual "I-will-search-online-for-no-less-than-101-discussions-advice-and-articles-about-said-problem" while the other half calmly watched YouTube videos on his phone while stuck behind the dryer. As I waded through the morass of posts, which by the way ALL agree that this model is a #!%*/@ piece of something, he was becoming friends with someone in the Midwest who apparently either made these videos for work or was just really bored. And who gave really great advice on repairing your own dryer. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

"Shop Local This Holiday Season" | Free Graphics to use and share

We believe in making a conscious choice about where to spend, and there's no better place than investing locally. Small businesses reinvest profits back into the community, create jobs and establish thriving areas to live and play. Support your independently-owned retailers this holiday season.

Our graphics below are created in support of local shops and to encourage spending at independent businesses. They are free for you to download and share. Click on each to open the larger version, right click and save to your computer or device.

 I care about small business owners rather than wealthy CEO's.
 Why leave town to shop?
Money spent locally is money invested locally.
Step away from the corporate greed found in the big box stores and support independent businesses instead.
What I think often keeps many people from spending locally is time. Small stores and local businesses may not be open 24/7 (nor should they be), but in today's world it seems that's what we've come to expect. Plan ahead this year.
Empty towns are depressing. Keep them thriving and full of holiday cheer.
 Spending locally is investing locally.
Choose wisely.

Live Local USA ~ "The voice of independent businesses"

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Small Business Casualties: Is One-Stop Shopping Killing Us?

I first wrote a rough draft of this back in 2009 as i started to see the attraction the larger stores held for consumers. Worried that the independents may be fading in popularity by seeing a shift towards the “get it all under one roof” mentality, it appeared there were changes ahead for our small businesses. And I'd venture to say that it's become more than just how people spend; I think it's become a mind set. Prior to the early 1990's I had never set foot in a Walmart. I know, I know. Sheltered east coaster I guess, but when we traveled we went to places that were all about the small towns and where variety made up the local landscape. Somehow, if the giants were present I managed to miss them until they arrived in Virginia, probably around 92' or '93.