This mini episode came from an experience our host had just this week while buying a birthday present for his wife, Sue. He shares the story along with a reminder to look for ways to support the people in your own community.
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Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.
A transcript of this episode can be found below.
Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini-episode of Distraction. Today, I’d like to talk about the plight of the small business owner during this pandemic. It’s so difficult for people who are trying to maintain the little business that they’ve spent their life building. I had direct experience with that today when I called the women’s clothing store in Belmont, Massachusetts. Which is right next to Arlington, Massachusetts, where we live.
There’s a little store there by the name of Bessie Blue. It’s a wonderful boutique women’s clothing store. But it’s independently owned by a woman who’s put her whole life into it. I always buy my wife’s birthday presents and Christmas presents there, at that store. I’ve been doing it for 20 years now. And when I called her, she said, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re calling. I’m working harder than I ever have just trying to stay afloat, spiffing up the website. Every sale now makes such a big difference.”
And I said to her, “Lee, I wish I could buy clothes from you every day. But certainly I will today for my wife’s birthday, which is on the 23rd.” And I could just tell in her voice how grateful she was, how happy she was, to get my business and how hard working she is. And I know, I’ve known her for years, this is an amazing woman. A mom with two little kids. And I just thinking how much it matters to these small businesses that we give them our business. Obviously, if you’re listening and you live anywhere near Belmont, go to Bessie Blue and buy something.
But for all the Bessie Blues out there, for all the small businesses of any size, let’s band together and try to patronize them. There’s a bakery, I forgot the name of it, in Arlington that people send around to noticing, go buy bread there. If we can make a point of trying to, not just rely on Amazon, but instead, go to the small businesses that really, really depend upon our patronage for their survival these days. I think it’s a way to do something that has a very practical impact.
And instead of necessarily going to Home Depot ,or ordering online, or going to Lowes, or going to Amazon, nothing against any of them, they’re very convenient. But if you could go out of your way a little bit and go to the local hardware store, or go to the local clothing store, or go to the local bakery, not to mention the gas station, and go to the places that their survival are in jeopardy. It’s something that we can do grassroots together to really support these wonderful businesses that are almost invariably run by really hard working good people, who don’t have the corporate backing, who don’t have the cushion to fall back on, who aren’t going to get a bailout.
They may get a small loan, but that’s not going to solve the problem that the restaurants… You can’t go to them other than for takeout. Which we have been doing our favorite Indian restaurant in Cambridge, Passage to India. We go to once a week now to get takeout. And I know how much they appreciate it. And if you live in Cambridge, I’d recommend Passage to India. Their Indian food is wonderful. It’s up in Porter Square.
And think of the small businesses that you can support and maybe divert your normal orderings from Amazon and outlets. And go to the small businesses that need you and me desperately, more than ever, and connect with them. And feel good about it. They’ll feel good. You’ll feel good. And let’s work together to keep these small businesses afloat until things open up and we can get back to the regular traffic. We have no idea when that will happen. So take this chance to support whichever small businesses you happen to love.
You’ll, you’ll keep people alive. It’s just that true. And you’ll feel good. And they’ll feel good. It’s the power of connection. Well, this is Ned Hallowell, wishing you support, health, connection. Take care. Be well. Talk to you next time.
Distraction is a project of Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the amazingly-talented Sarah Guertin. And our audio engineer and editor is the also amazingly-talented Pat Keogh.