Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Support Small Business and Local Businesses

I have lived and worked at places that support small business for most of my life.

Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA I remember stopping by the corner fruit stand and picking up strawberries that had been grown 20 miles away in Watsonville, where I now live. I went to local bakeries and even worked at Gayle’s. “There is only one and will only be one”, the founder, Gayle, will tell you. I’ve also worked at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park and my mother still works there. When I can’t make it to Menlo Park I shop at Logo’s and Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Now how many of us love our small businesses? The cheerful personal service, the romance of picking up warm fresh baked bread, the feeling of mystery when we’re in a dark cafĂ©, and we all think “We need to share this place. “

Well really you do need to share these places with everyone you know, because without support they close. I remember Tiny’s on 41st from when I was a kid. The first time I went to the hospital my mother took me there after to get a treat for being so brave. Now I pass the building it was in and IHOP is now there and I can’t help but feel sad.

Not only do small businesses create unique memories and every block looking unique, but they create jobs right in your neighborhood.

Here is an example of jobs created by supporting your local fiber festivals/yarn shops when you buy small business yarns, aka the people who actually touch the materials (so no accountants, landlords, electricians, ect will be listed):

Shop- Ran by 3+ people or Fiber Fest – 50+

Dyers- 2+ Me and on occasion a friend to help dye, run booths, and the pizza guys that keeps us fueled (very important man as is my bf that gets me a beer after clean up)

Hardware store for drop clothes, bottles for dye, tables, buckets, clothes to be ruined, goggles, ect – 15+

Craft shop for dyes and citrus acid – 15+

Mill I order the yarn from – 10+

Ranch the sheep with the wool are at – 5+

Shopping at your local yarn store supports 50 minimum*

Shopping at your local fiber festival 97 minimum*

*This is a minimum. I know stores that are manned by 2 people and some that are manned by 10+, my hardware store is local and small, the mill could use more people perhaps, and ranches can have more people too. Clearly this is an estimate.

Point is that by supporting locally you put money back into your community and create jobs that can circulate more money into the area.

Listen to the Yarn Harlot’s Yknit podcast 19 “Fist Full of Fibers”. She talks about how artists create money in local communities and jobs in any country. Being an artist is also one of the oldest professions around (not the oldest, as we all know what that is, but there are cave paintings that are pretty darn old).

So please support your local bookstores, bakeries, yarn shops, and grocers before you go to the big box stores. Think of how the money you spend locally goes back to your town’s roads, schools, police officers, firefighters and parks.

Votes for a Grant Update: 42 Votes and at 97 in the ranks!

Please ask friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and anyone you know to vote! Post a link on your Facebook or your blog please! The goal is 100 people by Saturday night!


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