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at 12:10 am by john
We hope many of you have seen this logo below either in our store, on someone's facebook post or elsewhere, but if you haven't, please read on. In March of 2009, Cinda Baxter proposed a very simple challenge on her blog, spend a total of $50 at your favorite three local independent establishments each month (read: no chain stores). Not $50 each, just spend $50 total each month and maybe we can all preserve what makes the main streets in our communities unique.
And we know every single day that all of you are the reason for our 4 1/2 years in business. Many of you come in asking gently, 'So, how's it going for you guys?'. And thankfully we can still answer...'you know, not too bad.' So for that - we thank you. But many other businesses are not so lucky, and that affects all of us.
We all hear our local and national politicians on the campaign trail talking about how this country is built on the backs of entrepeneurs and how the vast majority of jobs are created by small businesses just like ours. Well, the love from the powers that be isn't exactly coming through these days. At the risk of boring you, let us just state a few ways small businesses were honored this year in California during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression:
1. If you're an LLC, for the first time ever in 2009 you have to pay your multi-thousand dollar LLC fee (a yearly fee you pay just to exist as a limited liability company in CA) twice within two months. By paying for 2010 in advance, California gets more money upfront and the independent business is left to scramble to make up for that outlay of cash.
2. If you prepay your income tax as most small businesses do, for the first time ever in 2009 you have to pay 10% more in the first half of the year (instead of equal payments all year long) so that the city can get more cash earlier in the year - again, the independent business is watching that cash flow get stretched further and further.
3. Metered parking in Eagle Rock and throughout LA was doubled (sometimes more) and specifically in Eagle Rock, the hours were increased from 6pm to 8pm, cutting into the prime shopping hours the businesses need to succeed.
While these difficulties are minor compared to what many California families have had to endure-- losing jobs and homes and cars--hey all add up to a crisis that goes further than foreclosure signs in lawns. Those of you who are able to tough it out are going to see your neighborhood mom-and-pop businesses continue to falter, which will affect your home values, but more importantly, it will affect the character of your neighborhood. So, join the many people who are already taking it upon themselves to save their favorite local businesses. Skip the Targets, Wal-Marts, and Barnes and Nobles of the world and make that often annoying 2nd stop on the way home to support your independent retailer.
If you agree with the above proposal, send a link to this page around, or better yet, join the 3/50 project by going HERE
Tags: 3/50 project (3) local business (3) recession (5)
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at 12:10 am by john
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal last week about a restaurant in New York that is not just waiving corkage on Sundays to encourage customers to bring their own wine, they're celebrating the idea by discussing each wine with the customer and giving them a corkscrew to keep. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we recently had dinner in Carmel at a restaurant that charged us $45/btl corkage. They had a nice view but....$45? Ouch.
In a year where restaurants are dropping like flies, we wonder what you're experiencing with your favorite restaurants. Is the economic pinch pushing customer service back to the forefront where it belongs?
Tags: corkage (2) fee (2) customer service (2) wine service (2)
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