Small Business: Do Good, Not Feel Good

Two adjacent entries in a social media app I use highlighted a very good and a not so good reason to be a supporter of small business.

The first, from patrons in one of our better local restaurants, Spare No Rib, as they were dining, bemoaned the fact that only two tables were occupied and encouraged the neighborhood to eat there based on the quality of the food in order that they remain a going concern.

The other lauded the ambiance of the neighborhood and cited a loss in quality of life if neighbors took their business to the mall or Amazon. No specific business was mentioned nor any trade, service, or product. Just a vague 'we'll all be poorer if small businesses disappear' Rockwellian lament. 'Small businesses won't be here to buy from other small business or employ neighbors'.


I'm very familiar with small businesses - I own one. Small businesses exist for the same reason large ones do - to provide value to their customers. They're not some Currier & Ives nostalgic prop from a bygone era there to bring atmosphere to the neighborhood and boost a livability index. If, like Spare No Rib, they provide quality and value, they should stay in business. If they don't, they should make room for businesses, large or small, that do.

(This Saturday is "Small Business Saturday", a pseudo-holiday like Black Friday, created by American Express in 2010. American Express is a big provider of credit to small business.)