SMALL BUSINESSES ARE AS ESSENTIAL AS THE AIR WE BREATHE
In our earliest civilisations, much of the work of the village would be based on community needs, the common good and an early barter system to exchange goods of various values for other goods that held their own values. Even during the earliest times of bartering and trade between villages, humankind placed a “value” on what they had and what they wanted to trade it for.
Eventually almost all civilisations developed a currency of some kind. I once listened to a fascinating podcast about a village that knew of an underwater stone in the water close to their village and each person was able to buy/sell a portion of that stone as they gathered their needs each day. Trades were kept as a mental record, agreed to by the parties. This might sound a bit crazy, but it’s not too far removed from our modern current belief in the Australian Dollar, the English Pound or the Polish Złoty. Perhaps more easily compared is the value of gold or oil, or the value of any cryptocurrency.
By and large currencies allowed traders to establish a business model where money was exchanged for goods and small businesses established in every village. Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers would provide a product that the people wanted and an exchange of money (or a committed part of a sunken stone) would finalise the purchase.
Our modern small businesses are constantly evolving. New products spring up and old ones die off. You might not find too many candlestick makers these days, but you sure can buy coffee from 100 different locations. Who would have thought it – coffee sold from a shop, instead of just out of a cup at home. When did that happen?
Recently, COVID has created a massive challenge for many small businesses. The absence of customers being able to wander in and out; that failure of supply chains; the laws that prevented trade; were all factors in small business having to suddenly re-invent themselves.
There can be no doubt that some small businesses have gone from struggling to bustling, as they navigated the COVID events with great success. Meanwhile other businesses have gone from boom to bust. And of course, there was every other experience in between.
More often than not, small businesses are local family businesses, having a crack. Local families that might have grown up here; local kids that go to local schools and play local sports; small businesses that you will probably see on the sleeve of a local sporting team as a sponsor.
This month is “Small Business Month”. Get out and support some of our local small businesses. Support those that spend their dollars here with us.
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