Do you have a favorite local business that you go to all the time? They know your name, they know how you like your coffee, they know about your family, they know what you watch on TV and at the movies. How do they know so much? Does not matter what kind of local business it is, they know things about you because they ask. They engage in conversation. They like you and respect you. Sure they sell you stuff, stuff you could get anywhere and possibly at a lower price on the internet, but a local business (if they are any good) will engage you as a person first, customer second.
Now what would you do if the business that you have been going to for years (and your parents went there, and you may bring your kids there) was gone? For me it would leave a big gaping hole in my heart.
So what would you do for a local small business in a time when they need you most? Saturday was “Small Business Day” and I made a it a point to shop local. I am not saying Wal-Mart and Amazon do not have a place in commerce, I buy many things at both, but those stores do not personalize your existence unless they are offering something else that you may want to purchase. When a local business that I frequent was sponsoring a blood drive, I went. When they needed volunteers to create a “Captain America Human Shield” I said:”I’m in.” Wait, what?
So when I saw that comic book publisher, IDW, was sponsoring a contest to see if you would die for your local retailer I said: “I’m in.” Wait, What?
If you watch the original Star Trek, the guy with the “red shirt” was more than likely going to die. The contest is to write 300 words on why you would die for your local retailer. The “winner” will get their likeness on the cover on a Star Trek comic wearing the “red shirt” taking a phaser to the chest in the name of saving your local store.
Here is my entry in an open letter to IDW:
Star date 07.16.2011: I found myself awake early on a Saturday morning. My local comic book store, Double Midnight Comics, was sponsoring a project called the “Human Shield” (Captain America Shield). Double Midnight stated that they would donate $1 for every person that participated All I had to do was stand in a baseball field holding a red colored piece of paper. The donations were given to the Wounded Warrior Project. Getting up early on the weekend, standing in a field, is the least that I could do for Double Midnight.
If you knew only half of what Double Midnight brings to the community of Manchester, NH, you would have been standing next to me, and you would have been happy to do so. Double Midnight provides the community with sponsoring blood drives, promotes young reader programs and helping libraries build graphic novel selections (among others). Some would call this a “corporate responsibility” for a business to give back to the community, but Double Midnight gives back because it is the right thing to do.
When I go into Double Midnight I feel like “Norm” from Cheers, “Sean!” is the greeting, and it makes me feel good. The thing is that they do that for everyone who comes in. Double Midnight has created an atmosphere where everyone who enters is a welcome friend (how do they remember all the names?).
I would gladly wear the “Red Shirt” and take a phaser, photon, bullet, arrow, cannonball, or anything that was hurled in Double Midnights general direction. They have earned my respect and the respect of the larger community. Double Midnight does not need to be saved; they need to be protected because there is not enough small business around like them.
Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam! (Klingon for “today is a good day to die!”)
So what would you do for your local small business when they need you most?