In my 42 years in business, I’ve seen many economic trends that have proven to be a challenge; all small business owners must face them, along with similar challenges every day.
The recession of 2009 produced great anxiety and hardship, but it also created opportunity. Throughout the years, business districts like Cheviot have survived the growth of malls, big box stores, and currently on-line shopping. Now we’re facing the uncertainty of the coronavirus. Yet as I listen to my customers, and drive through our neighborhood, I realize that small businesses are needed now more than ever.
In a time when we are asked to practice social distancing, it becomes apparent that people miss the opportunity to connect with others. And there is no more personal connection than dealing with a local small business. While some of our business district’s flaws are obvious, it’s important to see some of the bright spots as well.
On any given day (pre-virus), I could enjoy a cold beverage and a burger at the Black Sheep/Public House, or a Greek pizza from Santorini's. Regina Bakery, Lenny’s Fruits and Vegetables, and R & R Meats also fill our food needs. Small’s Hardware is always ready to help with my hardware issues.
My colleagues from around the country are commenting on when, or even if, they will get stimulus money from the government to survive this uncharted territory in which we find ourselves. Many of their banks have issued them a number. I secured my loan from Cincinnatus, where they know me by name.
Small businesses are responsible for 60 percent of the economic impact in our country. We also create community building, and relationships on a one-on-one level. My hope is that when people can finally come out to work and play, they will better see how the many small businesses create the character of their community.
I’m looking forward to that day and can’t wait to see you.
Raymond J. Kroner
Kroner Dry Cleaners