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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Developing Black CEOs

According to research conducted by Richard Zweigenhaft, a psychology professor at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., though Blacks account for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population, 

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

(StatePoint) Everyone faces setbacks in life.

While those personal obstacles can lead to disappointing outcomes, they can also be harnessed into personal motivators, say experts. 

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Helping Your Local Economy

Written by Gregg Thompson on 19 November 2012.

You know about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when people line up outside the big department stores and discount stores in the middle of the night to buy cheap Christmas presents. Black Friday is a big day for retailers, but I don't think it's nearly as important as Small Business Saturday. That's because small business is the heart and soul of our economy.

 

Small Business Saturday is about Main Street, not Wall Street. It’s about the entrepreneurs and families who have put everything into stores that offer what the chains and e-commerce companies don’t – something different, something special, from handcrafted gifts to genuinely friendly service.

It’s also about supporting the local economy. The chain stores are owned by big corporations based someplace else, but small businesses are usually owned by people who live in the community. When you shop at a small business, you’re supporting your hometown, your neighborhood, and your neighbors.

The media tends to focus on the Fortune 500 brands everyone knows, but small businesses represent 99 percent of U.S. employers, and they employ about half of the nation's private-sector workforce, according to the latest figures from the federal government.

We can’t have a strong economy unless our small businesses are doing well – and right now they’re not doing well. They’re hurting.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business' latest Small-Business Optimism Index, the outlook among small-business owners is still wary. The survey, conducted before the presidential election, found that weak sales are still the No. 1 issue facing small-business owners.

The truth is that small businesses aren’t going to hire new employees if they’re worried about keeping the lights on. They aren’t going to expand or add locations if they’re worried about the cost of new regulations coming out of Washington.

Small Business Saturday, then, is a good opportunity for people to support the establishments that mean so much to America’s economic wellbeing.

According to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released Nov. 8 by NFIB and American Express, nearly half of all independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday marketing plans, while 67 percent plan to offer special discounts on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Small businesses generally offer better service than you’ll find at the chain stores. Small-business owners and their employees know their merchandise and understand their customers. When you shop at a small business, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner, not some random teenager who’s there for the employee discount and couldn't care less whether you shop there again.

Small-business owners and their employees will do everything they can to keep you satisfied because their livelihoods depend on you coming back.

Then there's the traffic. Shopping-mall parking lots can be ugly this time of year, but small businesses are usually in neighborhoods with smaller crowds and better parking, and that can go a long way toward making your day merry and bright.

But beyond all this, there's the value that small businesses bring to the community.

Small businesses are usually owned by people who have a vested interest in the community, in its schools, in the quality of life. It’s no accident that small- business owners are among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity.

That’s why I urge you to support Small Business Saturday – and to shop at small, independent businesses other day of the year, too.

 

 

Gregg Thompson is North Carolina State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the state’s leading small-business association. He lives in Raleigh and can be reached at gregg.thompson@NFIB.org.

 

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