Becky Says...

February 23, 2001

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Small Businesses

I had occasion this week to go to the local yarn shop, to get the yarn for a customer's order. I love that shop. And I'm quite fond of the woman who owns it. It's a small business, and customers are always treated with respect and given a bit of extra attention.

Part of my fondness for that shop and other small businesses comes, I'm sure, from growing up in a small town that had a lot of small businesses. I learned early on that the merchants in our town were good people, offering good products and services. They used what they sold. And in some instances, they bought from other people in the community for resale. And they all made good on things if a problem arose, without question.

And it's largely the same with the small businesses around here. I've lived here long enough to have come to know a lot of the business owners in the community, and I genuinely like doing business with them. I've had good dealings with them over the years. A couple of examples come to mind, in addition to the aforementioned yarn shop.

In one case, a fabric shop had only one card of a particular style of buttons, but more were to arrive soon. I bought the one they had in stock, and said I'd check back for another card of them. But I didn't have to check; the store owner called me when the next shipment arrived. The total amount I paid for the buttons? $3.00. Will I shop there again? Of course.

The second example: a jewelry shop opened a few years ago, when I was in the market for blue topaz. Even though the shop was new, it was owned by two men who had worked for other jewelry shops in the area. The day I went in, they didn't have any blue topaz in stock, but they were expecting a salesman to bring some a few days later. One of the owners called me the day the salesman was expected, and said that he was sorry, but the salesman's stock of blue topaz was not good that week. He offered to find me an aquamarine instead, but I told him that I already had a lovely aquamarine, and that my reason for wanting blue topaz was that topaz was my birthstone and blue my favorite color. His answer? "Then you shall have it." A few days later, the owner called again, to ask if I'd like to come by the shop to see the stones the salesman had brought. A few days after that, I picked up my blue topaz ring. Have I bought other jewelry there? Absolutely. And have always been pleased.

Perhaps it's because I've had so many good experiences with small businesses over the years that I wanted to start my very own.

Text copyright 2000-2001 Becky