Small to midsize businesses are the life blood of the American economy, or at least historically they were. In the article we referenced at the Daily Mail for our Black Friday post, Mark Duell cited:
Small businesses are not necessarily better employers in terms of wages, benefits, opportunities for advancement and other measures, said North Carolina public policy research expert John Quinterno.
He calculates small ‘mom-and-pops’, which he defines as businesses with fewer than 10 employees, account for nearly 80 per cent of employer firms in the U.S., but only about 11 per cent of the jobs.
‘Sometimes we romanticize small business – and I say this as a small business owner myself – so that it skews some of our debates about economic and labour policy,’ Mr Quinterno said.
Mr. Duell’s article was updated since Friday and it appears our shopping frenzy behavior turned a bit dark…but with sales up should we care? Is this our American culture we so eagerly want to export?
Small Business Saturday also took place this weekend, and we await the numbers from American Express – the sponsor of the second annual Small Business Saturday that sits right in between the craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday of the holiday shopping season. So far no reports of tasered customers or potential riots over $2.00 waffle irons for Small Business Saturday. And now you may ask what does all this talk of small businesses being romanticized and the crazed holiday shopping season have to do with L.L. Bean?
Like many historic American manufacturers and brand names, L.L. Bean started as a unique small business, but now straddles the mid-size business model of trying to be an ample American employer by making product here in the United States, yet is also forced by price competition and profit margins to manufacture outside of our borders. Do we punish a company like L.L. Bean or should we take the opportunity to focus on the good and encourage them to do better? The attached link takes you to the cyber pages of L.L Bean product made/assembled in the U.S. and the L.L. Bean Signature page of products made in Maine.
Instead of pepper spraying your fellow consumers for the lowest possible prices, what if we took to both the brick and mortar and cyber alleys of American shopping and sought out quality products that are providing employment and economic stability. As consumers we too play a part in the downward spiral of the American economy. If we continue to shop for the lowest possible prices so as to have the most amount of packages under the holiday tree we are cutting off our own noses – or our own quality jobs. If we demonstrate a willingness to spend more on less and focus on the internal economy, and not our eternal addiction to cheap stuff, we send a message of change and reward businesses who are attempting to support us.
Yes, you can shop this cyber Monday and focus on the deals, deals, deals…or you can shop Cyber Monday and focus on the long-term quality of life in America and the ability to leave that greater gift to your children. Fill your shopping Boat and Tote bag with less, spend time with your family perhaps strolling your community “Main Street”, and make it all and American Made Christmas this year!