Why and How to Support Local
Jay-Z dropped his album 4:44 but its only accessible on the music streaming platform he owns, Tidal. In one of his songs he said “I’m trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99.” Basically telling you if you are a fan you should pay the money for his music and support him.
He wants his fans to support black owned businesses. While I think that is important, I think we should focus supporting small and local. There are so many small businesses failing because they can’t afford to have competitive prices with the major corporations.
For the past week I have been making myself aware of the consciousness of my purchasing decisions. I have friends building businesses and I do not share articles of their businesses nearly enough. I don’t wear shirts of other boxers but I will wear a Nike shirt.
I was brought to New York as a sparring partner for Adam Kownacki. Adam put me up in the Jones Beach Hotel.
At first glance it isn’t the most glamorous hotel. You can tell it’s family owned. Maybe even passed down for a couple of generations. The hotel is very clean but it isn’t the fanciest.
What the hotel lacked in pizazz it surely made up in service. The employee at check in wasn’t someone that clocked and just tried to get by until their 8 hour shift was over. It was someone that was invested into the hotel and loved having customers.
This lead to a different kind of interaction. It wasn’t the kind you would get at a Marriott. He shook my hand, said his first name, made a joke then grabbed my bag without asking and carried it up the stairs. He walked me to my room and told me to make myself at home.
I wasn’t sure what was odd about that interactions until I realized that it was because he treated me like family. There are grocery bags over the small trash cans in the bathroom. I would have been previously turn off by that, but now I see such beauty in it.
Corporations are notoriously known for being shady. They abuse the power that they have. We must ask ourselves, “How did they get that power?” Well, money is power. When we buy from these corporations we are feeding the monsters.
This isn’t about supporting black billionaires businesses, this is about supporting small businesses. We need to be okay with paying that extra 6 cents for that can of beans and shop at the mom & pop grocery store. On your lunch break, go to that hole in the wall restaurant.
We all have a friend that is a musician. If that friend has an album on iTunes, buy it! If they post good news on social media, share it! If you see a child selling lemonade on the side of the road for 10 cents a cup, drop a $5 and buy it all.
Instead of spending $300 to see Kevin Hart at the Sprint Center, spend $8 and support local comedians. Support local sports events. Show up to high school basketball games, pay the $5 for a ticket, buy a Gatorade for $1 instead of going to a NBA game and spending $80 on a ticket and $8 on a bottle of water.
Too often do we support those that have already made it. Let’s hold ourselves responsible to help those at the grassroots that are try to make it.
My buddy Tim Grimes is a guy that you will never see without a Kansas City hat or shirt on. He supports everything Kansas City. Tim reached out to me, a total stranger, on social media just to tell me he sees I’m from Kansas City and he is cheering for me.
Tim is always in a Kansas City made Kansas City shirt that is usually owned by one of his friends. Tim and I went to a formal event and when I picked him up he took off his shoe to show me he was wearing Kansas City socks. I intend to be more like this.
I have been getting SnapChats from people sending me pictures of their socks that said “I am Awesome”. I didn’t really get why someone would want writing on a sock that can’t be seen with their shoes on. At first it seemed a little silly. So I looked into it.
I found out that the lady that started “Notes To Self” was Laura Schmidt and lives about 5 miles away from me in Kansas City. Her reasoning behind it was simple:
“I like the idea that someone wearing the socks sees a phrase such as ‘I am strong’ first thing in the morning when they are putting on their shoes, and at the end of the day. All day long, that positive reminder, said in the present tense, is there. The wearer has the choice to share that message with others, or it can be private. Either way, that positive phrase is influencing their thoughts and actions.”
I went to my buddy Cary’s house she happened to be there hanging with Cary’s wife. After having pictures of “I Am Awesome” socks sent to me, I was finally able to meet Laura. I am supporting her small local business in hopes that she gets so big she becomes a large corporation! Check out her socks here !
I am making a conscious change to start supporting local businesses, bars, and friends.