I often talk about how I’m not one for fancy things, even if I have the means to afford those things.
Ok, the occasional beachfront cottage is nice.
But other than that, I don’t go flaunting wealth. I don’t like to.
In fact, I prefer to stay small and local with my money.
I love supporting hardworking, deserving entrepreneurs in my community because these are the people I see every day. These are my neighbors.
Now, maybe you don’t have as strong an opinion on this matter as I do.
But you really should spend your money locally — especially now. And I’ll tell you a little story to show you why.
The other weekend, the wife and I ran a few errands. While out and about, we stopped by the cemetery to visit my mom, then went to grab a quick bite to eat.
Now, this isn’t out of the normal for us. This is pretty much our standard Sunday routine.
I make it a point to visit my mother regularly at some point every Sunday, and then my wife and I go and enjoy a meal together.
On this particular day, I was craving a steak.
And not just any steak. I wanted a 24 oz Arthur’s DelMonico Ribeye.
You can easily put this steak up against any high-end, award-winning steakhouse in Manhattan, and I bet you’ll choose this one over and over again in a blind taste test.
So in our travels, we headed to Arthur’s for a late afternoon dinner. Any later than that is a no-go — you need a few hours to digest this bad boy before you try to go to sleep. It will literally give you the meat sweats!
Anyways, we parked and strolled on over to the restaurant.
Now, this section of Morris Plains is full of OLD restaurants. I’m talking generational establishments handed down for over a century.
Yet as we headed toward Arthur’s Tavern, a wave of deep sadness hit me.
Among the COVID ordeal, so many small businesses fought so hard to stay afloat, but they just couldn’t manage it.
It was simply heartbreaking on our walk to see the other restaurants that didn’t make it.
This hits home for me because my family comes from small business owners.
My grandfather had a small upholstery business after serving in WWII. My dad built his auto repair business out of my grandparents’ garage at his childhood home.
Now, I own our family’s multigenerational business today, which my wife and business partner run…
What we have endured to survive the past 12 months was far from easy.
As I’ve talked about before, I’m blessed to have other sources of income that helped me keep the business afloat and the employees employed.
Those other businesses that managed to survive… they are a testament to the discipline, sacrifice, and consistency needed to weather all types of storms.
The ability to live beneath your means and maintain some cash reserves, all while staying under leveraged, has all meant more in the past 12 months than in the past 12 years.
Even through the 2008 great recession, business was not so severely affected as what this pandemic has done to today’s small businesses.
These are the businesses that employ your neighbors and their kids, sponsor your kids’ little league, support local town functions, volunteer in the community, and so much more.
These small businesses are the backbone of your community. They’re the backbone of the entire national economy, too.
And this is backed up by facts. At least before COVID, the SBA found that small businesses created ⅔ of new jobs and made up about 44% of economic activity in the US.
Again, these aren’t giant corporations.
These are your local restaurants, barbers, salons, grocers, wedding planners, accountants, cleaning services, and so many more that drive forward your community and the American economy at large.
Yet, they don’t have the reach that massive companies do. They almost solely rely on your dollars to stay afloat, grow, and continue to positively impact your community.
As such, I encourage you to shop local, eat local, and support local.
These business owners have families, and so do their employees — and they all count on you… just like you count on them.
To finish that story…
The menu price of our DelMonico steaks had risen by 23% since our last visit there before COVID hit.
I didn’t care one bit.
Boo-hoo, I have to pay a little more for perhaps the most delicious steak on the planet from a fine-eating establishment with incredible, hardworking staff. I’d be happy to pay even double the price for it.
I was happy to see they were still in business, their phones were ringing, people were enjoying their meal, and that Arthur’s is going to live on to fight another day.
Money is power, as they say. If you can earn more income, you have the power to make a greater impact on your community by spending it at your local small businesses.
If you’d like to learn how I make six figures a year trading almost completely passively…
If you join and make some profitable trades, I urge you to spend some of those profits at businesses in your community.
Then those small business owners can generate more stability for their families, hire more employees, pay higher wages (helping the employees create more stability for themselves and their families), and support your community in other ways.
It’s a beautiful upward cycle.