How fascinating it is that almost everything seems to have a silver lining. When we encounter bumps in the road, they are very noticeable and we tend to focus on them, even become transfixed with some. Then, if we are wise, we will look for the silver lining.
Suddenly this fall I became focused on riding the economic rollercoaster, pumping adrenaline. When I was able to take my eyes off the rails, other things came into focus - things I needed to focus on.
The backdrop for my awareness is varied. I'm in a stage of life that is very good. My husband looks at me through the rose colored glasses of love, our blended families love each other and my work team is truly another family. My home is in a wonderful, small neighborhood where people care about one another and I love my office with its high technology nestled among antiques. I have much for which to be thankful.
Through the middle of this happy scene came that rollercoaster that all of us rode. Finding myself among friends was at once comforting and unsettling and it took a while to realize I could jump off, even if the ride kept going.
Through the middle of this happy
scene came that rollercoaster
that all of us rode. Finding myself
among friends was at once comforting
and unsettling and it took a while to
realize I could jump off, even if
the ride kept going.
I took a deep breath and found the sky did not fall. Our business serves the foundation of our economy - the small businesses that together employ more people than the big corporations. Neighbors do like to do business with neighbors and that's what our business is all about - now more important than ever before.
We can all exchange dollars in our own community and, in doing so, we'll all do better. A simple idea, but sensible. When I get my hair done by one of my Great Bridge clients, we've exchanged money and both pay local taxes. Uncle Sam didn't send us any money, so we can feel free to mail our packages through Goin' Postal and Mail Werks, owned by neighbors. I know neighbors appreciate our business. If you want to shop online, you'll love our site - TheShopper.com - where we can find all the local shops and services where the money we spend stays here and comes back to all of us. Read their stories and make your list.
Local florists are wonderful and care about our satisfaction. Locally owned restaurants are the kind of places where 'everyone knows your name.' We have their stories in print and online as well. Little Joe is still trying to give away cars when his wife isn't looking and has added brand new dealerships to his business. Or maybe someone would be thrilled to get a gift certificate to have AJ at Maaco in Greenbrier paint their old but beloved vehicle. No matter what we want to buy this holiday season, be it baubles or necessities, we can buy it from our neighbors.
This month marks our 27th year in business. It has been a growth year for us as businesses want to advertise exclusively to their neighbors without competing with corporate America, knowing just where and when our targeted, direct mailing reaches the 110,000+ homes that welcome our magazine each month. We have 11 community Shoppers now in Southside Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina and we are approaching the year when we will begin to franchise. There has never been a greater need for neighbors to do business with neighbors and to have a friendly, warm advertising magazine for the hometown audience. Whew!
Life in our community is a wonderful ride. Let's focus our attention on our neighbors, our local businesses, our future. And let us Give Thanks!
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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