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The Heart and Soul of Small Business: Why Your Support Matters

As we navigate the shifting tides of consumer habits and face the challenges of a competitive market, we want to take a moment to reflect on what makes small businesses...

Dear valued customers and friends,

I hope this message finds you well and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As the founders of a small business in the vibrant city of Nashville, Tennessee, my sister, husband, and I wanted to take a moment to share some reflections on our recent experiences and the importance of supporting local businesses, not just ours but all the fantastic small businesses that contribute to the unique fabric of our community.

 

This past Small Business Saturday was unlike any other we've experienced since 2011. The energy and enthusiasm we typically associate with this day were noticeably absent. We want to be honest about it – our sales were disappointing, and it has left us pondering the changes we see happening in our customers' shopping habits and the broader economic challenges we all face.

 

Small businesses like ours are facing an increasingly competitive landscape. Nashville is booming with new national tenants and global fashion brands, and it's understandable to be swept up in the convenience and allure they offer. But there are profound reasons to continue supporting small, locally-owned businesses, and we'd like to share some of them with you.

 

1. Fostering a More Sustainable Economy: According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses have added 8 million jobs since 1990, while big businesses have eliminated 4 million in the same period. Small businesses are deeply rooted in their communities and are more likely to be people-oriented, community-oriented, and supportive of local causes.

2. Building a Stronger Community: Studies by the research firm Civic Economics reveals that 48 percent of purchases at local independent businesses circulate right back into the community, compared to less than 14 percent from chain stores. Supporting small businesses helps create a thriving and resilient community.

3. Making a Positive Impact on Lives: When you shop with small businesses, you make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who live and breathe your community. You support individuals who understand our local area's unique challenges and priorities and contribute to its growth and well-being.

 

Coming off of Small Business Saturday, it's clear that the holiday is lacking. We want to stress that your decision to support local businesses, including ours, is personal. We're grateful for those who choose to shop with us, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you. But we also recognize that circumstances like economic challenges and shifting trends are beyond our control.

 

We're advocating for a collective understanding of the impact of our choices on our community's future. If we continue to allocate our resources to entities that may not share our priorities or experiences, we risk losing something special. A community with only national chains lacks the local flavor and deep connections that make our neighborhoods unique.

 

Take, for example, the charming local bagel shop in my neighborhood. They provide exceptional coffee, bagels and kind service while actively engaging with our community through many events and support. If a large chain like Starbucks were to replace them, the difference in community involvement would be stark. Norman Binkley Elementary would likely not have a give back day at Starbucks. There likely wouldn't be kids craft nights, book club, trivia night, or small business markets. In my opinion, Crieve Hall Bagel is a far superior addition to our community than any national chain.

 

This is not just about sweaters or accessories but our values. It's about making intentional choices that reflect our beliefs and principles. It's about the moral obligation to consider where our dollars go and what kind of world we are creating by how we spend them.

 

In closing, we want to express our gratitude to those who have supported us and all the incredible small businesses that contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Nashville. We are here not just to sell products but to be a part of the community, to create experiences, and to make a positive impact. Together, we can ensure that our city continues to thrive as a place where local businesses are cherished and celebrated.

 

Thank you for being a part of our journey and considering the impact of your choices. Together, we can shape a community that reflects our shared values and aspirations.

 

With warm regards,

founder, Britt's signature

Brittany Hartwell, founder at Molly Green

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