Our View: A chance for a local bailout
November 24, 2008
With the economy pinching businesses who are pinching employees, it’s a wonder we’re all not walking around rubbing our shoulders. Everyone, it seems, is getting pinched. No wonder we’re all asking, “Where’s our bailout?”
It seems uncouth to ask our “trickle-down” government to invest in small businesses. Instead, billions are going to banks who failed to follow a basic business tenet ” serve your customers well. Lesson No. 1: Customer service is what got us into this mess ” selling loans with the corporation’s, not the customer’s, best interests in mind.
And we’re making the same mistake again. Our federal government is hooking up the largest banks in the world with funds the average customer could never dream about.
So perhaps we should stop all the lending, loaning, bailing and promising until our government can clearly explain how these investments will improve life for the majority of us who work for small businesses. We have yet to hear our government set any benchmark that will tell us we’re being successful in these economic changes. We’re breaking a cardinal business rule ” feverish spending without benchmarks for success.
At the very least, speaking in tangible tgerms might make our elected officials sound smarter than “Throw money at it.” From our point of view on the bottom of the corporate food chain, the bailouts are excusing decades of poor management, and doing little for the millions of small businesses that are struggling, on an equal scale, to the automotive industry.
So, what to do? Let’s create our own bailout. For consumers, that means shopping locally. For businesses, that means celebrating locals like they could be the last customers through our doors.
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