I sat next to my sister's brother in law, a current employee of Walmart who offered me a first hand account of working for the corporation - even turning down a management position based upon his hands on experience with the company. Although thankful to have a job, he is anxious to move on (and is waiting to hear on a new position elsewhere), having seen too much. He had to leave our festivities early since he's working at 4AM tomorrow for "Event Friday" (no longer Black Friday since the trampling death of 2008), but I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him and getting to know his family.
It was like having pie before the turkey.
And with that, my convictions have been affirmed and strengthened, and once again, I IMPLORE you to patron the small businesses in your community that are clamoring for your business.
Are you free on Saturday, November 27th?
You may not get that flat screen TV for $10 at your local business, but, in the long run, you will receive MORE than a penny saved.
- For every $100 spent at local small businesses, $68 is returned to the community.
- Small businesses employ half of all private sector employees.
- Small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms.
- For every year over the last decade, 60-80% of new jobs were generated by small businesses.
AK Nahas: Shared pie with the owner, at my kitchen table, while we discussed what items we'd need in order to have a working kitchen. He even talked me OUT of a new microwave. Good people.
Cafe Kolache: My "go to" place to write, fellowship, and hang. I've even been covered when I forget my wallet. I promise - I don't do this intentionally, or often. Again, good people.
Castle Toys and Games: Hands down, my favorite toy store EVER. Really. Ever. Partly because of the incredible selection, but more so because of the lovely owner, Linda.
There used to be this toy store in Evanston where the owner's were NASTY to children. Toy store + Nasty to children = Bad combination. That store is no longer in business.
Linda at Castle Toys and Games is pure delight. She loves her customers, and even surprises them with goodies when they break an arm. I will spend my money in Castle over Toys R Us any day.
Beaver Healthmart Pharmacy: Can you love your pharmacist? I think so. Especially when you hear the encouraging words, "Joline, we'll figure it out. Hang in there." during a time when a family member is having to change medications every month until we find the one that works.
What is the common denominator here?
I have a relationship with these business. I know them and they know me.
Try a local business this Saturday. Even if it doesn't open at 4AM. I guarantee you that you'll receive much more than a good "deal".
You may even make a new friend.