I’ve been glued to the news for the past several weeks and today things look particularly grim. On the heels of all that I learned that East Village Books will have to close their doors due to financing issues.
I’ve spoken with enough small businesses this past year to have some idea of their challenges, fears, and concerns. My response came even before I learned of these issues about 2 years ago when I launched dsmBUZZ. I thought it was worthwhile to ask consumers to invest in memberships rather than asking merchants to supply one more fee to their list of annual fees.
We’ve had some good efforts and response but I’m feeling inadequate at the moment. I would like to do more, make more of an impact, and just so YOU know I’m open to ideas. What will resonate? What will engage? I shall regroup for 2009 and forge ahead because I believe that educating people about responsible consumerism is an important mission.
From the time we first connect into our culture we are taught our role is to be consumers. The response after 9/11 in particular was to get out there and do more consuming. We did it but things went crazy. Where in the teaching of consumerism is there a lesson on doing so responsibly? Where is that message being taught? Who is teaching it?
For 2009, I hope to roll out a lesson to offer to public schools on the value of consuming responsibly and how purchasing locally is one way to do this. It’s one idea of several but again I would welcome other ideas and contributors.
This is a hunker-down time in which I feel we will all have to regroup together. Maybe the good news is that there will be more awareness of where we need to invest ourselves and our dollars. I just hope it happens before there is little left to save of our small business community.