Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Don't Leave Home Without It

So, as the sun sets on what the business media has christened 'Black Friday'; as the first evening of left-overs settle in our stomachs; as shoppers across the country rest weary feet, pepper sprayed eyes - not to mention the odd gun shot; we find ourselves on the eve 'Small Business Saturday', a brilliant idea to holiday shop at your local small business and support the success of the life blood of the American economy. It is the best way to truly occupy Wall Street. However, the concept and the catchy, Madison Avenue coined title has been co-opted by American Express. So, tomorrow, when you go to your local merchant to support them, to support the economy, or just to support a great idea, remember the whole media campaign is simply an American Express commercial and the business that you are supporting, more than not, cannot afford to accept the American Express card. Send a real message, pay CASH.

While we are on the subject of the all mighty dollar, it is important to know where your money is going (and to who). The top ten privately held companies - KOCH Inc. (chemicals & polymers), Cargill (agricultural commodities and food distribution), PricewaterhouseCoopers (accounting), Publix Super Markets, SemGroup (oil & natural gas), Mars (snack food), C&S Wholesale Grocers (food distribution), Ernst & Young (accounting), Bechtel (civil infrastructure, power& telecommunications), Meijer ( grocery & merchandise) - and the top ten public companies - JP Morgan-Chase (bank), HSBC (bank), GE, Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell (Oil), PetroChina (oil), ICBC (bank), Berkshire Hathaway (diversified financials), Petrobras-PetrĂ³leo Brasil (oil), CitiCorp (bank) - can be "occupied" only by how you make your holiday purchases and how you get there. And if you have no other choice than to shop at the big retailers, let your conscience guide your decision making. Of the top twenty retailers, as ranked by Forbes Magazine - #2 Kroger, #3 Target and #15 Macy's - gave $64 million, $146 million and $41 million, respectively, back to the community in charitable contributions. Something to keep in mind as you re(a)ward you holiday dollars.

This is all just food for thought - be it holiday budget or protest - knowledge is power. So, as you walk to you local independant shopkeeper and buy his/her goods with cash, keep in mind you have the power to make a difference this holiday season. When all is said and done, it is not about deals, or overnight lines, or profit margins, big business or small business - it's about comodities love, and hope, and peace on earth - try to occupy that space for the next month and see where that gets us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Occupy This!

So, protests are all well and good, they give you a voice and make you feel better, but how does it really effect the corporate heads and stock holders that the everyday person will never know the names of. There is only one way to get the attention and effect change in the finacial world and that is through their wallets. Learn who owns what and buy accordingly.