I’m Kathleen Birmingham and I’ve been in small business my entire life. I began as a child entrepreneur making Barbie doll clothes and selling them from a card table in front of the dime-store in my home town when I was ten years old.
Not much has changed.
I’m still looking at ways to help people “peddle their wares” to a society that has become more and more global. Being global does not mean it is better for us our our communities. The truth is that unless we begin to spend more of our money nearer to home, other people, and other countries are going to get rich while we continue to suffer.
This is true whether you’re in a city, a town, or trying to make a living in one of our more rural communities as a farmer or rancher.
Every single small biz owner I have interviewed has the same comment, “I need more local people to spend money with me, otherwise I will have to close my doors.” Some of these businesses have belonged to families for generations and they are at risk of closing their doors forever.
Without small business, we run the risk of “generalized mediocrity” where everyone everywhere will have exactly the same items. But that doesn’t help when you need a small gadget or gizmo to keep an appliance going. The big box stores can’t possibly carry every tiny item. They don’t want to. If you can’t fix it, they’re hoping you’ll replace it.
I grew up in a family where people “made do” by fixing what they had, or inventing what they needed. That is good old-fashioned ingenuity, and it is what once made America strong.
Let’s get the message out to small biz owners that it is time to raise the awareness to “shop locally”. Little by little, shop by shop, town by town, county by county we will each help our communities thrive by keeping more of our money in our community.