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Empathy For Family Business

Updated on January 27, 2012
Family Business
Family Business | Source

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.

If you want to forward this article to others I encourage it. Use the facebook, twitter or Google+1, link at the top of the page or click the share button at the bottom of the page for other social networks. Someone you know may find this of interest.


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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Credence2 - Thanks, I said what I could to turn the tide, I am but one voice in many. I can only hope it makes a little difference.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      This is the foundation of the American Economy that is in danger because we want to focus on the needs of corporataions and large businesses instead. All of this is sheer folly. Great article, Cred2

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Dexter Yarbrough - Thanks, if everyone does it I think we could save many a family business.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      agreenworld - Glad people are reading this one, good to know you are appreciative of family owned businesses :)

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Great story - and lessons. I will take your advice and start shopping at small businesses even more. Thanks!

    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 6 years ago from CT-USA

      I love the family owned businesses. They reflect hard work and even better product, handcrafting everyday items we may sometimes take for granted. Thanks for highligting the role of the hardworking famly owned business.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      tobusiness - yes that is true it is hard to do it when it is so convenient but I think you have the right idea, the farmers market is a great start :) thanks for commenting!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Terrektwo, well said, we should all do our bit to help, unfortunately, the mega stores are so damn convenient, having said that, more people are buying from farmer's market, at least you know where your food is coming from, and it's fresh. Voted up

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      writer20 - thanks, I think everyone should help family business, guess I kind of see where my empathy for them comes from :)

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great story about your family. Voted up and interesting. Joyce


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