Scott’s Take: Small Business Everyday

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Imagine if you will, a sterile “twilight-zone” landscape devoid of any evidence of having had a rich history, a heritage, a nostalgic past. Everything is either new or a decrepit remnant of a past. Cities and towns once full of commerce, culture, and vibrancy are no longer economically viable and slowly degenerate into further decay. Vistas are ripe with asphalt roadways and distribution centers, fast food restaurants, service stations, and large now listless vacant shopping meccas.

The internet and satellite communications gave us new realms in which to dwell, full of endless opportunities for shopping, gaming, communicating, entertainment and learning. Over time every venture, enterprise and human endeavor became subservient to the online lifestyle. Not quite the apocalyptic world of a Mad Max movie, but quite sterile and barren nevertheless. Everything was deemed disposable and easily replaced for the newest and shiniest with little regard for any residual or enduring value, with minimal regards for future environmental or social impact.

The only thing constant in life is change. Not all change is good, nor is it bad. Yet all change has consequences. Our society is forever being crafted and reshaped based upon the economics, interests and utilitarian needs of the day. Likewise, our social norms, values, and ideals are continuously being redefined and tend to evolve as a result. Communities originally coalesced to efficiently serve the needs of their inhabitants for food, commerce, and economic and cultural livelihood.

Since WWII, the United States has become unique in the degree that it has allowed itself to decentralize. The migration and suburbanization over our society has lead to the decline of many urban and village centers. Downtown businesses began to falter with the popularity and convenience of strip malls. These were eventually challenged by large malls, which are now struggling with the advent of “lifestyle” centers and the ever increasing volume of online shopping.

Fortunately, there is now a new appreciation for our towns and city centers as vibrant and lively areas whose ideal desirability is measured by walkability scores. Green space, cleanliness, heritage, entertainment, varied culinary opportunites and social opportunity….all readily available and achievable in a close proximity. Every community benefits from a shared identity and a sense of space. This cannot be easily replicated along commuting corridors no matter how much glitz and concrete is erected, but it can still be found in our older areas. Nurturing and appreciation is required, however, to keep our treasures economically viable and sustainable.

Small Business Saturday should not only be a day to support and celebrate your local businesses, but also a day of awareness as to their social and community value, their challenges and opportunities. Small businesses don’t survive because of a single day of sales, they require sales year round. We too know the value of online shopping and fully understand the limitations in competing with online merchants. Our success depends upon offering not only a unique product, but an experience, a rewarding personable connection, exceptional service, a contribution to our shared sense of community and identity.

The success of a small business is what justifies the expenditures in your community and keeps it vibrant and vital for generations to come. It is the dollars that revitalize and maintain the existing building stock with inherent history and heritage. It is the tax dollars that contribute to the infrastructure, local municipality, and schools. It is your friends and neighbors creating a livelihood for themselves and keeping the local economy alive. Supporting your local business is an investment in your own well-being and community.

Small Business Saturday 2016-2017

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Calling all shoppers far and wide!
Getting caught up in all of the seamlessly endless deals on Black Friday can be easy. This year make your dollar stretch even further and hold off your spending until Small Business Saturday.

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Store Hours:

10:00 AM-6:00 PM 

You will have several opportunities to win dramatic discounts, sweat treats, and much more all day on Saturday ONLY!

American Express founded the idea of Small Business Saturday in 2010. What is considered a ‘Small Business’? A small business is defined as a business (corporation, limited liability company or proprietorship) with 500 employees or less. Participants of Small Business Saturday celebrate and promote the push for local consumers to shop small every single day. According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, more than 95 million people shopped small last year. That figure is an 8% increase from Small Business Saturday in 2014.

In fact, small businesses drive much of the United States and State economies. Currently, there are 28 million American small businesses, which account for 54% of all U.S. sales. Civic Economics reports on average, 48% of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores.

Also, to not forget the environmental impact that the franchise retail sector has, Shopping Small is significantly reducing these damages. This is because they often have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies due to; less mass transportation of products, sourcing goods that are made within the region with sustainable supplies, the comparable lack of energy it takes to run the storefront, and infrequent amounts of mass waste.

There are a plethora of reasons why you should follow suit and Shop Small EVERYDAY. Americans are investing more in their communities every year, as a Gallup poll earlier this season found that  citizens rank small business second only to the U.S. Military when it comes to institutions in which they have confidence. There is a surplus for every dollar YOU spend in a local store. This money will not only stretch your dollar further, but it also adds your local community. According to the SBA, since 1990, big businesses eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million jobs. As it stands today, 60-80% of all US jobs are supplied by a ‘Small Business’.

There is a standing theory that the “Multiplier Effect” provides the economic solutions to what cities like Lancaster need in order to be revitalized. The Multiplier Effect is the idea that independent locally-owned businesses recirculate a far greater percentage of revenue locally, compared to absentee-owned businesses (also known as franchises). The Multiplier Effect is comprised of three elements; The “direct impact” is spending done by a business in the local economy to operate the business, including inventory, utilities, equipment, and pay to employees. The “indirect impact” happens as dollars the local business spent at other area businesses re-circulate. The last element, the “induced impact” refers to the additional consumer spending that happens as employees, business owners, and others spend their income in the local economy.

As a consumer, your purchase plays a vital role in your neighboring community. By shopping small more often you are circulating more revenue into your local economy, allowing room for community character to develop, and strengthening partnerships that stimulate long-term investors.

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Holiday Open House 2016-17

Mingle & Jingle

Need a reason to get out of the house this upcoming weekend? Are you as excited as we are about the upcoming Holiday season?! We are over-joyed to share with you several upcoming events during the month of November. In collaboration with The 300 Block of North Queen we will be kicking off our Holiday Season Open House this Saturday & Sunday, with our hours being 10AM to 5PM. Each business  that lines the block will offer customers a unique, festive experience along with a vast array of deals, treats, and entertainment.

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Sweets & Savings

Stop by Boutique Tana Kaya and check out all of our new events that we have tailored to specifically show our appreciation for you! During the Open House we will be giving away copies of our Holiday Calendar, which is packed full of upcoming events for any person of any age!

We have heard YOU & your comments about receiving mediocre Holiday presents from loved ones year after year.  We have taken your requests into mind and are ecstatic to announce our ‘Wish-Listing’ campaign…. right in time for the Holidays!  We’re hoping to take the ease off of finding the perfect present for you and your loved ones by allowing you to make your wishes known!   We will work one on one with you to build a personalized profile focusing on your preferences and style.  We will help you choose items to put on your ‘Wish-List’ and even take photographs of your desired items and provide you the option to have your profile sent to your loved ones via email or post!

We are also proud to announce our partnership for the Holiday Open House with Hogar Crea; a local women’s shelter focusing on rehabilitating drug addicts and victims of domestic abuse. Just in time for the season of food and presents, they will be offering a variety of baked goods such as; specialty cakes, brownies, and cookies. All proceeds from baked good sales will go directly to their organization in efforts to fund-raise for their program needs. Your purchase of any baked good will not only go fully towards the community, it will also give you additional 10% OFF on any single item in the store!

Along with sweets and savings, The 300 Block of North Queen has partnered with The Lancaster County Council of Churches for a food drive this season of giving. All non-perishable items will be accepted in most storefronts through November 20th and will be donated directly to those in need from our local community. Next time you are near the area, clear those pantry shelves and donate to an excellent cause.

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From all of us on The 300 Block, we hope to see you this Holiday Season!