Earlier this week, I wrote about the importance of supporting local merchants in the Bronx during Small Business Saturday, which occurs after most people do their holiday shopping on Black Friday. The topic did bring up some discussion on Facebook, as some people (rightfully) stated that too many businesses don't do enough to attract or keep their customers. And the wrong mix and attitudes of businesses can bring about resentment and frustration from residents, which drives away people to shop elsewhere.
Small businesses do bring a sense of vibrancy to communities and provide them with goods, services, and local jobs. And when small businesses come together, they can accomplish things that contribute to the character of a neighborhood. This requires businesses to do something that may seem counter-intuitive, and that is think outside of their business to enhance their business.
|Families gathered on Saturday at W. Kingsbridge Road for the|
1st Holiday Celebration Event, sponsored by the
Kingsbridge Road Merchants Association
|Mirador Restaurant, one of the newest members of the |
association, played host to Santa and his helpers to bring an
early Christmas to Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx.
|L to R: Marlene Cintron, BOEDC President, Christian Ramos|
Vice-President of KRMA, Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx BP,
Santa (looks familiar), and Nancy Fernandez, President, KRMA
MAS, lead by Jacqueline Acevedo, has helped market the association for the last three years and seen the association continue to grow in many ways. Since the early days of sidewalk sales, MAS has helped them in putting together several events and promotions that have brought the community and businesses together. She reached out to both KNIC and Green Mountain Energy, who sponsored the event, and was able to promote it successfully for the association.
And this is what is meant by the other side of the coin regarding small businesses. No one doubts how hard it is and the courage to go out there everyday to make a living, and that customer loyalty is important. But like everything else, businesses have to invest in their customers and community in they want their business to be successful. And if it means a few decorations or having a large-scale festival, find out what your customers want beyond the transaction or two and be a part of what they need for the community to succeed.