The Parable of the Starfish.
Yet one more local business closed its doors on Saturday, leaving behind this message on Facebook:
Well, the time has finally come to where we have decided to close our doors. Without the sales volume, we simply have not been able to make the money needed to sustain ourselves. We want to thank each of you who have supported us and done what you could to help us grow. The monetary loss is something very hard to deal with. But, we walk away with our heads held high in the fact that we were able to start a business and come up with a concept that most people will agree was unique and clever enough to have had a real chance of success. Unfortunately, it did not work out. But, we want to thank each of you who have personally touched us by your well wishes. Many of you, some complete strangers, have made comments that have brought a smile to our faces even in our darkest days. Money will come and go. But, life is about the memories we take with us long after the money is gone. Each of you have helped us to look at life and confirm that we are all connected in one way or another. We know we are only 1 of 1000′s of businesses that have been unable to make it. Most people have heard the Parable of the Starfish. But, just in case you haven’t heard it, here it is:
One morning an elderly man was walking on a nearly deserted beach. He came upon a boy surrounded by thousands and thousands of starfish. As eagerly as he could, the youngster was picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean.
Puzzled, the older man looked at the young boy and asked, “Little boy, what are you doing?”
The youth responded without looking up, “I’m trying to save these starfish, sir.”
The old man chuckled aloud, and queried, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”
Holding a starfish in his hand, the boy turned to the man and, gently tossing the starfish into the water, said, “It will make a difference to that one!”
Well, each of you in your own way have made us feel like that 1 special starfish.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and God bless!
I read the post aloud to my family. My son said, “Why did you read that? It’s depressing.”
Well, exactly, it is depressing to all of the community when businesses close their doors. We need to be cognizant of the fact that every business failure represents lives that once dreamed of taking advantage of the American dream, seizing the opportunity to chart their own course. Investments, years of savings perhaps, are now gone. High school kids who had jobs after school are now out of work, leaving their parents a heavier burden. Strip malls that are empty create a nervous negativity that permeates the neighborhood psyche.
Business closures, due to a bad economy, government regulation and uncertainty — or controllable things like poor financial planning or location, have a ripple effect that can become a tidal wave if intentional efforts aren’t made to contain them.
Wrap it Up’s failure is just one of many recent closings in this otherwise prosperous town that I’ve come to love.
Quiznos? Gone. Marble Slab Creamery? Gone. Uncle Bernie’s Ice Cream? Gone. Boabab Tree? Gone. Wine Seller – voted Best of the Best for the past three years? Gone. Surely there are more, but those are just the one’s I’ve noticed since moving here a few months ago.
What to do? I’m making a conscious effort to support local businesses. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve walked down Main Street, popping into the little Mom and Pop bakeries, and gift shops to see if there is something I can buy to help the cause. I bought a small piece of cake and coffee at Bear Moon Bakery and used the opportunity to meet the counter help. I didn’t even eat the cake, but that was not the point. There’s a sink stopper with a Texas star on it in my kitchen sink that I purchased from the Rusty Bucket….not something I needed, but it was only a few bucks. A few doors down from there I picked up a pair of earrings on sale, 75% off. At the store with no name – noted by a multi-colored metal chicken out front, like a Mexican garage sale, I found a ceramic wall sconce, and with a little bargaining, it didn’t set me back too much. The owner had a turntable, playing Glen Campbell hits. It was comforting.
On Sunday night, we drove past the Wendy’s and Burger Whop :) and Taco Cabana — all fine establishments — and pulled into a little restaurant on the corner of a strip mall. The decor looked original to 1975, but the hot and sour soup was so good I did what I never do – I ordered a second bowl. Why not? It was only $1.25.
$1.25! And the iced tea, free refills of large glasses– was only .95 cents. The egg rolls were fresh and full of veggies, no skimping. And, unbelievably, the three of us had dinner there for less than $30. For a sit-down, full service place, that’s pretty incredible these days. I’m so glad we found this little gem.
I guess the purpose of this post is to encourage everyone to scout out new businesses to support. Put it in the budget… every dollar that you spend to support the free market is a dollar that says to the big government progressives in the Obama administration: Take THAT! It’s my “wealth” and I’m the one who will determine where I distribute it.
It’s up to us to try to save our economy. Our communities. Ourselves. One business at a time.