Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day, the founding of our great nation. From the very beginning, Americans’ can-do spirit has been an integral part of what makes our country great. That spirit is alive and well today, locally, too. It’s what drives us to take that leap of faith, pursue that dream…and open our own businesses.
The American Independence Business Alliance launched Independents Week, which encompasses the 4th of July each year, to celebrate this entrepreneurial spirit, recognize small businesses’ contributions to the community (fun fact: independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community than chain competitors), and to affirm citizens’ role — your role! — in shaping a community’s future.
Independent businesses are what makes Alexandria, Alexandria. In fact, I would bet that those of you who live (or visit!) here do so precisely because the community is so varied and unique. It’s not just getting a cup of coffee when Misha’s has your order ready as you walk in the door, it’s community. It’s not just a workout when your Fitness on the Run trainer is as proud of your milestones as you are, it’s community. And when your favorite boutique calls letting you know that a dress that’s perfect for you has just come in, that is community.
Shopkeepers here care about fostering this community because we live here, too…and we love it, too. So to celebrate Independents Week, all week, starting today with Red Barn Mercantile owner Amy Rutherford, we’ll be posting q+a’s with the owners of some of your favorite independent businesses so you can get to know us a little better, find out why we took that leap to open up shop, and what we love most about being an entrepreneur in Alexandria.
I recently saw this meme online:
It’s true! And we thank you for it.