EDITORIAL

Shopping small helps us all

Posted

Monday marked the annual online retail celebration that many look forward to in the hopes of finding a sweet deal on electronics, home goods, personal healthcare products and quite literally everything in between. It was Amazon Prime Day – the day (and now an additional half day) where Amazon slashes its prices for its Prime customers with limited supplies and for a limited time only.

It is human nature that people are attracted to the concept of a “sale.” Sales indicate that you are getting a bargain, a deal that would be simply foolish to pass up. When you see a giant flat screen television going for $300 less than its “actual ticketed retail price,” your body may actually have a physical reaction to this information received by your brain.

The concept of getting a great deal on something having a physical effect on your body goes back to when coupons were first introduced in the 1800s, most notably by the Coca Cola Company. A study in 2012 showed that people who received a $10 coupon for a product experienced significant physiological differences than those who did not, including lower stress levels, lowered heart rates and an 11 percent overall increase in happiness.

Although Amazon, a company that experienced a $1.86 billion net profit (that’s profit after taking expenses into consideration) in the fourth quarter of 2017, certainly doesn’t need to be concerned with their bottom line after slashing 30 percent here and 50 percent here on a fraction of the items for sale within its gargantuan selection, they understand the value of creating hype and excitement within their customer base, and they have the resources to provide the instant gratification that is so important when establishing lifelong customers. That is what Prime Day is all about.

This publication only wishes that small businesses had the same ability.

According to the Rhode Island Small Business Administration report from 2018, there are 99,821 small businesses in Rhode Island, which accounts for 98.9 percent of all businesses in Rhode Island. These businesses employ over half the total workforce in Rhode Island, about 224,000 employees.

Small businesses do not have the luxury of being able to slash their prices to bring in more customers. All that they are able to do is try to build loyalty through their hard work and quality of products. If they are lucky and dedicated enough to earn a social media following, this can be a huge boon to business. In many more cases, small business owners don’t have the time or resources to invest the effort needed to make a social media page really bloom. They rely more on word of mouth and online reviews to generate enthusiasm for their products and services.

This also means that small business owners have very little margin for error. If a customer has a negative experience – even if they are way off base in their anger – a pessimistic, one-star review can do serious damage to a small business’s image and cause serious financial harm. Small business owners must treat every customer, even the ones who don’t really deserve it, like gold – because they essentially are.

This is why, as countless among us undoubtedly at least checked Amazon for what the deals of Prime Day had in store, hopefully even more of us made a conscious decision to shop locally and shop small. While certain products are simply no longer available except from a big box store, there is ample opportunity to find local artisans for décor, home goods, fashion and more niche products.

The best thing about small businesses is how you may not even be aware of the types of products sold by people who also happen to be your neighbors until you seek them out. You can also feel good about these purchases, as they contribute to your local economy and can bolster somebody’s dream of owning and operating a business of their own.

While Amazon has done some amazing work raising money through their Amazon Smile project, there are plenty of reasons to still be wary of their corporate practices. These are not necessary concerns when you purchase a candle from someone who made it in their own kitchen, or knitted a blanket with their own fingers.

While Prime Day generates excitement, shopping locally is what generates a healthy economy that benefits us all.

Comments

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richardcorrente

The most profitable retailer in America doesn't have any store fronts. It's Amazon.

The most profitable car company in America doesn't own any cars. It's Uber.

The market has changed since the days of Y2K, but real estate is forever and Warwick has 4,666 less businesses than it did ten years ago. (according to The U.S. Census and the R.I. Secretary of State.) My critics will say that number isn't 100% accurate but even they can't explain why Warwick has so many vacant storefronts, nor do they have any idea how to fix it. . Warwick NEEDS a plan to re-populate those storefronts and The Corrente Plan offers REBATE CHECKS to any business that relocates INTO Warwick. That will cost the City a little to gain a lot. It is currently being successfully done in New York (they give free taxes for ten years!) and I believe the same will work for Warwick. No other candidate has addressed the problem or offered any solution to reverse the growing loss of businesses in Warwick. My critics may disagree with The Corrente Plan, but at least I have a plan. All they have is:

Fake News. Fake Sourses. Fake People. Fake names.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor.

Tuesday, July 17
Justanidiot

eye donts use a fake name, i r 2 and idiot. youse wants yer small bidness to succeed, start welcoming people to yer store. i am nots a warwicks or road island native so i don't gets good service cause i don'ts know a friends of a friends. wal*marts may be a buncha arkansas rubes, but they treats everyones the same. if youse dont know mom and pops and all der kids, good luck getting dem to even grunt hello when you step into der shop

Wednesday, July 18
CrickeeRaven

"Warwick has 4,666 less businesses than it did ten years ago."

This is a lie -- as in, the number is a complete fabrication by the make-believe mayor.

"My critics will say that number isn't 100% accurate..."

No, a local news website reviewed the actual data and compared it correctly and found that the 4,666 number is factually incorrect: https://warwickpost.com/numbers-game-corrente-claims-of-lost-businesses-dont-add-up/

Here's one relevant quote from the article about the Census numbers that the make-believe mayor claims prove his point: "[W]hile the Census showed 8,410 firms in 2007 in Warwick, updated numbers from the U.S. Census showed 8,299 firms in the city as of 2012 — a difference of 111."

Here's another quote about what the accurate comparison of RI Secretary of State data shows: "[T]he Rhode Island Secretary of State reported 4,485 businesses in Warwick in an email to the city dated July 20, 2016 that she provided to the Post — a net increase of 735 since Corrente last gathered information from that department."

There is no data -- no information of any kind -- that proves the make-believe mayor's claim about businesses in Warwick. None.

It's not that his information is "not 100% accurate" -- it's that his claim is an outright lie.

As far as his giveaway scheme, the make-believe mayor ignores the fact that taxes are paid on every commercial address, whether or not an active business is there. His "plan" is to give away tax revenue to businesses that will relocate out of the city once the tax giveaway concludes -- it is nothing more than a temporary scheme that does not identify what part of the city budget would fund it.

"Fake News." The make-believe mayor still believes, despite factual and verifiable data, that Warwick lost thousands of businesses over the last 10 years.

"Fake Sourses." [sic] The make-believe mayor made a false comparison of federal and state data, so he is lying about what his sources ["The U.S. Census and the R.I. Secretary of State"] say.

"Fake People." The make-believe mayor is under the delusion that he has any support from honest, taxpaying voters.

"Fake names." The make-believe mayor has given himself a title that he did not earn and does not deserve.

Wednesday, July 18