Letter: Support Small Business Saturday

People walk past a business that is closing following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., August 17, 2020.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri//File Photo
To the Editor,
 
In these difficult economic times, as a result of COVID-19, it is especially important to patronize your neighborhood businesses. Do it not only on annual Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, but every day of the year.
Small independent businesses are at the mercy of suppliers, especially third-party brokers, who control the price they have to pay for merchandise. There are additional costs of sanitizing the store and providing protection to employees, who deal with the public during this ongoing health emergency.
 
I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local stores survive. The employees go out of their way to help find what I need. Customer service is their motto. As an independent mom and pop store, they don’t have bulk buying purchasing power that Amazon or large national chain stores have. The owners can’t negotiate lower prices from suppliers. This is why they sometimes charge a little more. It is worth the price to avoid the crowds and long lines at larger stores in exchange for the convenience and friendly service your neighborhood community store offers.
 
Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued the good fight to keep their existing staff and suppliers employed without layoffs and canceling product or supply orders. They continue to work long hours, pay taxes and keep as many employed as possible. Many maintain the tradition of offering job opportunities to students during the holidays and summer.
 
Customers also patronize other commercial establishments on the block. Foot traffic is essential for the survival of any neighborhood commercial district.  If we don’t patronize our local community stores and restaurants to shop and eat, they don’t eat either. This helps keep our neighbors employed and the local economy growing.
 
The owners of independent mom and pop stores are the backbone of our neighborhood commercial districts. Thank the hard working owners and employees who continue to work during these hard times. Show your support by making a purchase.  
Stop by your favorite store and also drop off a box of candy or cookies as a show of appreciation. Something sweet for the holidays helps take the edge off the stress we all face.
 
Larry Penner

More from Around NYC