The generation that remembers the days when local small business was not only the driving force of the local economy but the bulk of it is slowly disappearing. That fact might prove extremely detrimental in the future.
Small business, despite what you see in marketing campaigns and the increasing number of multinational corporations, is what made the United States the number one economic power in the world at one time. There is a simple explanation as to why this is so.
When the majority of business and commerce is conducted by small business owners, the mentality of ownership and management is completely different.
The small business owner’s concerns are local. They know their employees personally, their customers are neighbors, and their reputation is the true coin of the realm. There is a real and true accountability attached to how business is conducted, customer satisfaction, and employee morale.
Responsibility has a face.
In contrast, global reaching concerns have no face, only an image. There is no accountability to you, the customer, as these companies are so large the loss of one consumer over poor quality or service is of no consequence.
A corporation with no face is held accountable not to the very ones whose dollars turn their profits but to a small group comprised of shareholders and boards of directors. The many feeding the few is the best way to describe it.
As younger Americans come into adulthood, employment and hopefully disposable income, their perception and experience will be completely devoid of this simple economic fact: small business is the backbone of the American economy.
With no one to mentor this up-and-coming generation to basic economics that isn’t propagandized to the corporate advantage, the economic control shifted to the board rooms will tip the scales away from the American economy.
The signs are readily available as outsourcing internationally of manufacturing and technical concerns are the norm instead of the exception. Pickens County’s own example is the death of the textile industry, like so many Southern towns and communities.
Now consider the number of years recovery of those jobs has taken, if there has been a recovery at all.
If you throw a bullfrog into a pot of boiling water, he will jump out. If you throw the very same bullfrog into cold water and slowly increase the heat, he will boil to death without flinching. As American consumers we enjoyed the cold water but have refused to recognize how hot it has gotten.
It’s perfectly OK to think globally in the 21st century, but to maintain any semblance of control or impact you must act locally. Consider that the next time you have the choice in where to spend your money.
It might cost a few pennies or a few dollars more to support your local small business but in the end that pittance is worth far more. That pittance is your stock in your community.