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JIM “PAPPY” MOORE: The Ups & Downs of Small Business

By Jim “Pappy” Moore

Mom and Pop businesses are the backbone of America’s economy.  From family farms, to motels, to restaurants, to auto shops, to almost everything you can name, family owned and operated businesses are the lifeblood of the country. In 2020 they took a beating because huge companies listed on the stock exchanges were kept open while small businesses were shut down. That was a terrible thing to do to these businesses which employ most Americans.

There is no better business in America than one in which an owner is on or near the premises while the facility is open to the public.  Owners know that poor or bad service costs them customers, and they make sure their employees realize that.  There is a direct link between keeping customers happy and having jobs for employees to work.  There must be demand for the employee’s services for the job to remain in place.

Because the owners and employees in a family operation understand how important providing a quality product and good services are to revenue, those businesses tend to be much more focused on doing just that.

I like knowing my dollars are going to local people – owners and employees.  I like knowing those dollars get turned over to other businesses in my community.  The more money the local residents keep in the area, the better for everyone in it.  Pass it around three or four times before sending it off to pay internet, phone and other bills.

When I refer to Small businesses, I am talking about all locally owned businesses.  It is the web developer who operates from his home.  It is the realtor selling houses, the appraiser helping loan applicants justify the values for their loan applications, the Tex-Mex restaurant owner, the Sonic Drive-in owner, the tire shop owner, the hair salon owner, and many others.  

These owners take on the burdens put upon them – by your elected representatives – from every level of government from the water and sewer districts, to the county codes, to the municipal ordinances, to the state regulatory groups, to all manner of federal oversight.  Every time they pay someone money for any purpose, there’s a governmental entity somewhere getting some kind of fee for that monetary exchange happening.  These owners pay all that, and all their costs, and all their employees.  If anything is left over, the owners get to decide whether to pay themselves or spend more money on their business.

Owners get paid last.  They pay everything else first.  And if there’s no money left after all others are paid, the owner suffers silently.  There are good times and bad ones in small businesses.  Sometimes it’s because the State decided to tear up the road right in front of their business, right before their busy season began – or would have begun if people could have gotten to their facility.

I have known and worked with many small business operators.  They tend to be hardworking, good, decent people who are willing to forgo current or near-term gratification to meet long term goals and commitments.

Copyright 2022, Jim “Pappy” Moore.  All rights reserved.

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