Happy Independent’s Day!

How To Love up Your Local!

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Have a look around our Bay Area towns and you’ll notice it’s harder than ever for independent retailers, artisans and local restauranteurs to make it…. Sky-high rents, government dysfunction and construction costs are off-the-charts, and independent businesses are closing left and right. The merchants and proprietors behind small businesses are the driving forces that create opportunities for community and connection all across America. And — more than ever — we need your help!

One of the things I love most about our Sausalito small business community is that you very often find the owner there on the scene. This is so special and, in modern times, truly rare. On any given morning you can usually find Tera checking on the beans at CIBO, Yoshi chatting with guests of Sushi Ran, Adam and Graham stocking shelves at Driver’s Market and Aaron having a blast flying planes at Seaplane Adventures. Jill is in the back, measuring fabric, Rowena is giving thoughtful advice on eco-friendly couches and Chad is intently tweaking a customer’s bike. When you shop at a small business, you are investing in people and families you know. You’re investing in and supporting jobs for vibrant, caring people and helping to create beauty and meaning in our community and world.

For far too long — and to the detriment of our communities — our society and media have glorified the industries and professions that do nothing to contribute meaning, creativity and beauty in the world. At the end of the day, corporate chains do precious little to enhance our daily lives, create meaningful memories or inspire the small everyday joys that truly matter in the sum of our lifetimes.

With little contribution or change on the horizon from our media, government or institutions, the power lies within each of us to work together to create the community of our dreams. Wanna help us?? Here are some easy action steps you can take to help support your local, independent businesses:

  • Support us! In our world of speed, efficiency and convenience, we know it’s oh-so-easy to have Amazon deliver everything you need quickly, cheaply and in a few clicks. But we so appreciate when you take the time to shop with us! We can only be here if you support us, and we appreciate all of you for going out of your way to shop, review, refer and champion our local small businesses.

  • Pay in Cash. This is a small thing, but with meaningful consequences! When you use credit cards, thousands of dollars each year go to Visa, Mastercard and giant multinational banks instead of the small community business you are supporting. When you pay in cash, 100% of your dollar supports the artist, merchant and proprietor and helps us sustain, grow and invest more resources in our amazing teams.

  • Offer Kindness and Encouragement. Many of us small business owners work countless hours behind the scenes, driven by a deep passion for our craft, devotion to our services and desire to be of service to our communties. For every hour you see us in our shops, please know we are up way earlier than that sweeping our storefronts, baking our croissants, and hitting the farmer’s markets to bring you the best and freshest. Late into the night we are meeting payroll, wrestling with government bureaucracy and battling exploitative insurance companies. The hours can be long, and quite lonely at times, and you have no idea how much it means to us to receive your kind feedback, an encouraging word or a fabulous online review. Knowing that our work brings you joy, happiness and meaning — especially on the tough days — means everything.

  • Honor Quality over Quantity. Sure, a pint of organic and non-GMO blueberries might cost a couple bucks more at Driver’s Market than at Safeway… but at Driver’s you can be assured that those berries are sourced from an ethical, local farm paying fair wages to its workers. An artisan-made dress by Jill Giordano is going to be WAY more interesting than a dress from Macy’s manufactured in China. And you will wear and cherish that necklace of Katya’s for decades to come…. Quality over quantity!

  • Value Experiences over Stuff. At the end of the day, it is how we spend our time and how we make others feel that matters most. For us small business owners, nothing makes us happier than seeing you lingering happily over a meal we created for you, leaving our establishment refreshed and revitalized, or sharing a memorable experience of flying over, kayaking around or sailing our beautiful Bay with someone you love. Experiences will stay with you forever…

  • Share your Space. The skyrocketing rents and limited affordable housing options are the biggest threat to our small retail and creative businesses. It’s becoming simply impossible for our wonderful baristas, musicians, servers, artists and healers to afford to live here. These are the very same people who make our communities diverse, interesting, friendly, creative and unique — we all need to consider how much we have, and what we are able to contribute and share for our greater community. If you have a multi-bedroom house, an au pair unit or guest cottage going unused, please consider renting your extra space affordably to someone who will truly appreciate it. In turn, you’ll be contributing meaningfully to a more interesting and vital community for us all…

Happy Independence Day to all, and thank you for helping us keep Sausalito soulful & salty!