Empathy For Family Business
When I was growing up my father spent day and night supporting my family. When I was a small child it was to keep a small home and a few children but as I got a little older and we moved to the country to a larger home built by my father on our own piece land and he expanded his business there was a lot more to take care of. I remember in my teens my our family had as many as five vehicles being used on a daily business. Mostly for the business, but as my father had five children a couple at a time within driving age there was a lot of driving being done.
My father normally employed at least a few workers, had a large shop and show room. He made furniture and cupboards. When I was small he did primarily furniture and residential kitchens but as I hit my teens he had expanded to do commercial millwork for schools, government buildings, banks, etc. Thinking back now it often seems miraculous that one man could keep all of those things going and still be an excellent father and husband to our family.
It wasn't without hardship though. We struggled, quite a lot. I remember my father once said that he lived to the tune of 350 - 400 thousand dollars a year but so much of it went right back into the business he didn't see much of it. Sometimes it was hard just to keep food on the table, but he did it.
Ever since I became an adult and have made my own way, had my own family, I have always had a great empathy for small and family businesses. I see them out there with booths at mall shows, fruit stands, meat vendors, little grocery stores and I have always felt bad for them and want to help. I do my best to shop from them. They struggle day to day to hold onto what they have while large chains grow larger and larger. I admit even I have found myself going to walmart, Mcdonalds, or even a big name convenience store instead of the family owned businesses but whenever I catch myself I make the effort.
With the upset of our economy in the past few years I have read more and more about closing family businesses, even some that have survived generations, more than one hundred years. All I can do is write this article in the hopes that those reading will like me take a moment and make the effort to buy from a family business or entrepreneur. They need to make a living just like the rest of us. It will also go a long way to stop the rich from getting that much richer and the poor from getting poorer. We are all responsible for that gap and only united can we resolve that problem.
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