Small businesses do what no one else can – or will

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Nothing defines a community or neighborhood more than innovative, independent small businesses.

Who of us has not driven through an area that just seems to be a bland, endlessly repeating landscape of look-alike big box stores?

And who of us has not wandered along attractive neighborhoods looking at (and I hope, supporting) one-of-a-kind bakeries, cafes, shops or breweries?

These are the places I seek out when I am visiting a new place – and they are my favorite places at home.

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You don’t need to be a business major to see that shopping, like everything else it seems, is a world away from what it was just a few years ago.

Yes, online shopping has decimated the traditional major retailers. Sears, Macy’s and J.C.Penney’s are struggling.

Instead of working in retail, for some soul-less corporate entity who knows little of our area, more and more people are building their own business and pursuing their own vision of making a living by meeting a need that no one else can.

Small businesses are often the first to offer a product or service. Photo: Morf Morford

Small businesses are often the first to offer a product or service. Photo: Morf Morford

These businesses come and go, move, merge and constantly change shape, vision and personnel.

These small business bend to the will of seasons, trends and market forces. They provide goods and services – and a level of knowledge you will not find in larger businesses.

Independent and small businesses have always been the heart of Tacoma. Photo: Morf Morford

Independent and small businesses have always been the heart of Tacoma. Photo: Morf Morford

There is close to no hierarchy in many of these shops. In most cases the owner literally does it all – from sales to clean-up to locking the doors at closing time.

These (sometimes struggling) business deserve our support.

From furnace cleaning to shoe repair and from CBD oil to salt water flotation, you can find it all from a business – and a person – who is knowledgeable and local.

To find a local business check out this map of Tacoma area small businesses – https://www.americanexpress.com/en-US/maps?country=US&near=Tacoma,WA,98409&cl=47.2038,-122.4825&linknav=us-loy-howtoparticipate-shopsmallmap