Happy New Year!
It was November 2008 when we published our first VivaTysons Magazine. Retired from a 35-year career in the food business and noticing the struggles many of my customers were having trying to compete with the well-capitalized public companies, I decided the persons who most needed a cheerleader and friend in the media were the small, independent brick and mortar community businesses. They are the ones who support the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, public school projects… and whose existence is dependent on a thriving small business community.
The concept of the “3/50 Project” whose purpose was to retain locally owned businesses whose dollars provided a large portion of annual revenue critical for funding public resources and services caught our eyes and hearts.
The simple consumer-friendly message spoken in “dinner table language” asked consumers to think of three businesses they would miss if they disappeared—and to remember that their support is what keeps them open. The number 50 calls to our attention that if just half of the current population dedicated just $50 of their current monthly spending to 3 locally owned businesses more than $42.6 billion of revenue would be generated annually. The project claimed that for every $100 spent in local businesses more than $68 returns to the local economy. Spend that amount in a big box or chain store, the amount drops to only $43, and money spent online (except if you live in the e-tailers town) nothing comes home. Nothing. This was in 2009.
As I look at the retail landscape today, even tonight only 11 days from Christmas, I am amazed at how empty many of my favorite stores are—and saddened by the look in the eyes of many of the sales and service persons who have been hoping for a brighter holiday to bring them into the black. I know the convenience and competitive pricing available to us on the web. But I can also see the effect it has brought to our local merchants. (Ouch). We promise to continue to support them any way we can; we hope you’ll do the same. “Keep it Local” is still our rallying cry.
Despite this disconnect between Wall Street and main street, I remain hopefully optimistic about tomorrow. (David Susskind used to say he was pessimistic about tomorrow but optimistic about the day after tomorrow. Sounds about right.)
There’s some interesting reading for us this issue. Keith talks to David Baldacci about his new book End Game and interviews Hall of Fame drummer Max Weinberg. Mike Isabella Eatery goes live and there’s a little something on green diamonds by Linda Barrett. Analiese Kreutzer gives us some options for summer camps for the upcoming season.
There’s interesting reading on Virginia’s certified grass-fed farm in Marshall, and please say hello to some of the top service providers and merchants we work with featured in the “Faces of Tysons.”
Looking for tips on making the perfect smoothie? Go to page 78, and read about “Blender Girl”—thanks, Reneé! And for health and beauty, our Le Nouveau Moi section is packed with information on looking and feeling your best. MJ, you’re the best!
Did you know that dogs get the flu? It’s news to me, see page 138. Wanna laugh? Jan King’s “Weekend with Grandma” left me in stitches.
Once again, please know that everyone here will be working to bring our community closer this upcoming year, and we wish you a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.