On Tuesday, July 4 we will be celebrating Independence Day and the birth of our nation. In America, we live in a free and open society full of limitless possibilities. That is why over the centuries many people have come to America, the “land of opportunity,” to have a better life than they had. It is known as the American dream: the idea that every U.S. citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative. To many that means the ability to own their own business and create their own success. Now all of that seems to be slipping away in this global economy we all live in. The Internet has taken over and is undermining and impacting traditional retail businesses.
According to the Social Studies Help Center (www.socialstudieshelp.com), the U.S. economic system of free enterprise operates according to five main principles: the freedom to choose our businesses, the right to private property, the profit motive, competition and consumer sovereignty. Here is quick economics lesson, courtesy of the Social Studies Help Center, about what free enterprise means, free of charge!
“Freedom to Choose Our Businesses: In this country, the decision whether or not you should go into computer services or any other kind of enterprise (business) is basically yours alone to make. Right to Private Property: Private property is a piece of land, a home, or a car owned by an individual, a family, or a group. In the U.S. economic system, people’s right to buy and sell private property is guaranteed by law. Profit Motive: The main reason why you or any enterprising person organizes a business is to make money. You do this by earning more money than you spend. Competition: Just as you are free to start a new business, so is everyone else and they will be competing with you for the same customers. They become your competition. Because of the pressure of competition, business firms must constantly try to provide the best services and create the best products at the lowest possible prices. Consumer Sovereignty: In the end, it is the customers, or consumers, who determine whether any business succeeds or fails. In the U.S. free enterprise economy, consumers are said to have sovereignty – the power or freedom to have final say. Consumers are free to spend their money for Product X or for Product Y. If they prefer Y over X, then the company making X may lose money, go out of business or decide to manufacture something else (perhaps Product Z). Thus, how consumers choose to spend their dollars causes business firms of all kinds to produce certain goods and services and not others.”
This is amazing when you think about it. That is why, more than ever, we need to shop local. We need to shop in Montrose whenever we can. Ninety-nine percent of all the businesses in Montrose are locally owner-operated stores whose owners are living the American dream and they need our support more than ever. If we want this town to remain and thrive in the years to come, we must do our part. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want online shopping to be my only choice in the future.
The City of Glendale has created a plan called Montrose Vision 2020. It wants to see Montrose thrive in 2020 and we do, too. Log on to glendalca.gov and go to the Economic Development Dept. and you will find all you need to know about Vision 2020. There are survey results, the placemaking concept, marketing strategies, infrastructure plans, relationship strategies with stakeholders and the implementation plan. You can also find more information about the importance of shopping local at www.montrosechamber.org under the About tab. We wish you a safe and happy 4th of July.
Montrose-Verdugo CityChamber of Commerce: Your source for all things local! Our mission is to actively support and enrich the community, vitality and pride of Montrose, to help preserve the historic district and small town atmosphere, to promote economic stability and positive, productive relationships within Montrose and the surrounding communities.
August business mixer is on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. at Arthur Murray Dance Studio, 2260 Honolulu Ave. in Montrose.
40th Anniversary Oktoberfest is on Saturday, Oct. 7 in the 2200, 2300 & 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue in Montrose.