Hurricane Sandy taught us many things, but one lesson is clear: The health — good or bad — of an area’s business community has a direct effect on residents’ quality of life. When small businesses such as restaurants, professional offices, service stations, clothing stores and supermarkets have residents’ support, they provide jobs for people in the community, sponsor Little League teams and fairs, pay property taxes that lessen the burden of those taxes on homeowners, and offer goods and services that people depend on.
One need only look at the ravaged areas of Long Beach, Island Park, Oceanside and East Rockaway — and other South Shore communities nowhere near the ocean that were without power for days on end — to understand the catastrophic effect Sandy had on businesses as well as homes and schools. The storm’s winds and flooding destroyed many businesses, taking away, at least temporarily, livelihoods and tax revenue. Restaurants without power don’t need waiters and cooks; gas stations without gas don’t need employees; flooded stores don’t need salespeople; and no sales taxes go to governments to supply services from retail businesses that are closed.
We all depend on our business community.
Now, more than ever, patronize your local stores and businesses. Let them know you’re aware of the vital role they play in your life. As the holidays approach — and on Small Business Saturday, this weekend — visit your local shops and take advantage of the quality goods, personal attention and informed service they provide.