Saturday, 18 September 2010

Budleigh and Brewster: a common experience

I see that Budleigh Salterton's Chamber of Commerce is using this poster to persuade people to shop locally. I'm sure that its attractive design and message will have the desired effect. The poster might even find its way into homes as part of the decor as well as in Budleigh shop windows.

The message of shopping locally was reinforced when I read what Kyle Hinkle, Executive Director of Brewster Chamber of Commerce had to say on the subject. Her comment about getting your dry-cleaning done in your home town rather than in Plymouth even applies to us in Budleigh Salterton.

Cape Cod and America's East Coast, where our sister-town is located, is of course notable for communities with English names like Chatham, Yarmouth, Falmouth and so on. There's even an Exeter, a Bristol and a Taunton in this part of the USA.

Brewster Chamber of Commerce website is at

Here's the message:

It’s time for the decade of the Small Business
by Kyle Hinkle, BCC Executive Director

2009 ended one of the most historically significant economic decades in our country's short existence. First of all, that decade kicked off with Y2K - remember that craziness? Then, every year after that there was one history-shaking event after another, and the world was changed forever.

But looking back over our whole history, and not just the last decade, there is one consistent note that resonates: Americans are resilient, with huge pride in our country and the freedom it stands for. And Americans are entrepreneurial.

This country was built on the backs of small business, grown by people who weren’t afraid to take a chance and follow a dream, who rose to meet the needs of their neighbors and friends for goods and services. Just look at Brewster’s businesses: they’ve been going strong since 1633!

Small business has been, and still is, like the deep water ocean currents that navigate slowly around Planet Earth, steady and consistent, even when the surface waters above are roiled by violent storms that destroy everything in their path. Small business IS the steady under-current of our economy.

This past decade saw business giants tumble, even when the government offered the now famous bailout funds. But small business, with its foundation of meeting local needs, and its owners, managers and employees living and being active in the local community, continues to thrive.

And it does so in spite of: being denied commercial loans; having to charge customers higher taxes to make up for government’s wasteful spending; paying ever increasing employers’ taxes and employee benefits; having no bailout in sight.

One might ask, with all these roadblocks, “Why do small business people do “it”?” It goes back to that entrepreneurial spirit! After all, some reports claim that 60% of the businesses in this country fall into this “small” category, which adds up to a powerful force!

So let’s make this the “Decade of the Small Business”

HOW? Start by only doing business with Chamber members (there are 15 chambers on the Cape BTW - that’s a lot of businesses to choose from!).

Shop local - shop local - shop local! Think about it: If we only do business with other chamber members there would be no recession!

Spread the word to all of your customers, purveyors, family and friends that without our small businesses they would not have the local goods and services that they have come to expect! (Can you imagine: going to Plymouth to get your dry cleaning done??)

And when you find a business that ISN’T a Chamber member, let them know that they’re missing the best network of support and customers they could ever be part of!

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