Small business blues

Howard Bursen wrote Small Business Blues in 1984. It has featured on many folk albums since. Small Business Blues is one of the first songs I can recall warning about the impact of globalisation.

Then they put in a mall selling all kinds of junk
Like stamped our plastic shoes
And the hard working folk watch their business go broke
We got the small business blues

This song is as relevant today as it was 20 years ago. More so even.

They’s squeezing people right out of business
In the name of free enterprise
There’s 10 million folks out of work today
And the corporate skyscrapers rise

Small business is doing it tough today. I’ve had my own business for 25 years and this year have been asked to help (in one way or another) more small businesses in trouble than ever before. While some are in trouble because of poor management many are in trouble because they cannot compete with cheap imports or big businesses eliminating service, cutting costs and selling cheap.

Just look at any of the major retail outlets. Despite what their TV commercials say, smiles and service are gone. They cost too much. At the small businesses which compete with them the smiles are there because that’s where they understand the value of customer service.

We can bleat and moan all we like about our big business competitors. The only action which counts is the action of spending. The less we, as small business owners, spend with our big business competitors the more pain we inflict. We could consider Howard Bursen’s Small Business Blues from 20 years ago as a call to action this Christmas, a call for us to support small business with our own gift buying.

This was all on my mind today reading the page one story in the Australian Financial Review about big business wanting to ensure that their multi billion dollar tax breaks are safe. Big business gets all the breaks and support from government. Small business gets a pittance by comparison. Again, the only way to protest is in our spending. Ignore them with your spending and they may get the message.

Tell your friends.

Don’t say America’s gone lazy
It’s the economy’s gone crazy
And if we don’t make a change we’re gonna lose
We got the small business blues

Category: Small business

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