Small Town America

Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone is well after the holiday weekend. We hope you all took advantage of Small Business Saturday. Small Town America looks forward to this day of the holiday weekend. Though we know we are taking on a new challenge personally to shop at local businesses whenever we are able. There are three hardware stores in the Clio area and though we do like the chain stores we are going to do our best to actually start shopping at the local business. As well as keeping to spending our money at the local restaurants as opposed to the chains. We find it improves our community and it improves the relationships we have with the locals. We have been going to the chain restaurant quite a lot lately to get the cheaper food deals. We are going to start spending our money as much as we can at the local businesses first and then the chains second.

Since we have come to Clio we have heard repeatedly how much it is important to the townsfolk and the town as a whole to shop local and then see those same people shop the chains for the better deals. We think that we can do without somethings to support our town over spending our money at some chain business. Now we understand that it is not always going to be possible to spend our money locally but we are going to try and change our habits and start being intentional with our money, with our interactions, with our life. Lately we have had interesting challenges pop up in our life and each one stems from shopping at a chain or shopping at a local business.

Now, we want to say right here that we do live in a small town. Though if we happen to be in say Flint and we need to do some shopping we are going to opt for the small businesses over the chains. That may mean being smarter with our money to make it stretch but you know that is how some of the largest corporations on the planet have started. They were each a small business at one time. Discount department stores and fast food are the best places to get cheap. However, those cheap products come with the price of breaking down more frequently.

We are not saying that you all have to follow us in this we are just saying that we are going to be accountable for the way we live. The trike we bought came from a small business, well a medium business anyhow. And sometimes, our challenge that we are taking will make it so that we end up at a chain store. If you see us out and about challenge us with our challenge. We want to make a difference in the lives of the people that operate these businesses and if it means not spending money at a chain or eating with friends, that is fine. We are doing something for our community. Like we mentioned earlier we have had friends tell us that we need to shop local and then they turned around and invited us to sit down with them at a chain. And yes, we know some local people work at those chains, and if more people do not start shopping at the small businesses there will not be much of a town left to visit. We have been through small towns in our adventures where the only businesses left are chain stores surrounded by empty storefronts and buildings. Elroy lived in a small town near the Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana border nearly thirty years ago, the town only has a funeral parlor, one diner, and a chain gas station in it now. When he was there it had the chain gas station, a locally owned mom and pop place, ice cream shop, three restaurants, a hardware, a dress shop and about thirty or forty other businesses. It was the center of the school district not any more. We used to live not far from another such town that had about thirty businesses in it’s downtown; there is now only five businesses. Yet another small town has about four businesses left out of close to fifty.  We are seeing small town America being taken over by chains stores and corporations.

Semper Fidelis, Sweets and Elroy

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