When you hear the terms ostrich or Myrtle burger, what comes to mind? Or pink pig van? Rudolph? How about tiny paper plates?
All of these things are hallmarks of Oak Ridge small businesses. You’ve heard it said that small business is the back bone of our economy, but we are so much more. We fill a need that franchises and big box stores simply cannot—we are what distinguish one strip-mall lined community from another. We give our city its unique flavor.
And while memorabilia and gimmicks certainly embed images in our minds, these businesses are fueled by the literal blood, sweat, and tears of people. The shop owners and employees aren’t just entrepreneurs; they are your neighbors, your friends and your family.
We all value convenience and good deals, but as the recent “Shop Local” movements have demonstrated, much is sacrificed for the sake of saving a buck or two (real or perceived). [Read more…]