Creativity of the Mind
Imagine a city that gives you money back for supporting small businesses in your community. Less shopping on Amazon and more canvassing the markets. The good old days where mom used to force us to go to the stores and get those everyday items. Remember those times we supported family-owned businesses?
- Plastic Card
- Rewards for Shopping at Small Businesses
- Alcohol and Tobacco Problems
- New Mayor in Town
- Evolving the Small Business with Corporations
The City of Chicago sets up a plastic card system. Tracking card collects all of our purchases and records them in a databank server. Consumers file their income tax returns; they can write off their purchases; or consumers can get credit right away in real time.
Consumers receive points post-purchase. Their plastic cards collect and keep track of their spending habits, and the rewards consumers have earned.
It does not have to be a high-tech silicon valley company (i.e., LinkedIn). It would require a website; coupled with data that retains information. The platform would need IT’s, bloggers, and other necessities for it be a functional website. We would need resources to supply plastic cards, and we would need funds to advertise the new plan. We are brainstorming real numbers that actually can work. A pilot study can be useful in the early stages of development.
Retention of the consumer base is mandatory. Consumers can opt out anytime they want. However, they will stay and tell others about the program; if they can see the immediate benefits.
Unemployed people can take part in the consumer’s incentive program — a reward-point system for all consumers. Everyday groceries will rank low on points, gas for cars, and other items that consumers use all the time. We must give high points rewards for products and businesses that are struggling (i.e., a local hardware store).
Big Tobacco and Big Beer
Cigarettes and alcohol will not provide any points. To get people to use this card system; the benefits have to outweigh the negatives (i.e., keeping track of consumers purchases). Why no points for cigarettes and alcohol? A healthy society does not live in a dichotomy, where parts of the population are healthy, and other components are not.
Our government and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s); must keep track of how much people are smoking and drinking, then we can help them with their addictions (privacy issues will determine how much we can monitor).
People cannot argue that if they smoke a pack a day; they are not suffering from nicotine addiction. Drinkers that drink alcohol every social gathering or weekend cannot claim that they are not suffering from substance abuse. They need help, maybe some of those boarded up store-fronts; can be turned into non-for-profit organizations, that help people suffering from addictions.
Deterring Drug Use
Equally important; we need to provide incentives for people to quit cigarettes and alcohol. Not raise the tax on cigarettes every time C02 emissions increases. Penalties should be handed down to Big tobacco companies and alcohol manufacturers for the terrible effects it has on our communities. Those penalty dollars can help deter raising taxes, and in the long run; treat the diseases that evolve from cigarette consumption and alcohol abuse.
The city collects tax revenues on alcoholic beverages, but in the future, we will pay. De facto, crime rates increase when an individual is under the influence. Side-effects such as DUI’s (driving under the influence), domestic violence, and a plethora of social ills that are the genesis of alcohol usage. 90% of crime happens when someone is under the influence. If we eliminate alcohol and drugs, we eradicate the probability of crime occurring!
“90% of crime happens when someone is under the influence.”
New Mayor of Chicago
Volunteers were engaged in civic duty these past several months. Getting out the vote for the Mayor’s office in Chicago; was an obligation for the natives. Time will show that we were on the right side of history supporting Lori Lightfoot’s campaign.
The new mayor recommends that we should encourage corporations to be alongside small businesses. Lori states, “While neighborhoods like Lakeview or Fulton Market can rely on a large hospital or office buildings to attract other small businesses, many Chicago neighborhoods lack anchor institutions that can support neighboring businesses.” Arguing that anchors like Home Depot will increase consumer incentives to shop in their vicinities, with other small businesses.
Lightfoot’s administration will implement public policies to create a landscape that helps start-ups. An environment that does not tax small business will only encourage investments. Disenfranchised communities in the south and west sides of Chicago lack employment. We need to infuse resources in these impoverished communities. The preliminary stages will educate communities on how to start their businesses. And how do we encourage and promote ownership for new start-ups?
Competing with Corporations
All brick and mortar stores are welcome. We should weigh the pros and cons of disqualifying significant corporations like Home Depot. But what about Walmart-being the largest retailer in our country; that has destroyed many small businesses. Maybe we can make an exception and not include Walmart. These are the beginning stages of trying to demarcate the consumer’s incentive program. What guidelines work and what will be inefficient; are depending on its many drafts.
A clothing store, or cellphone store, and a dollar store are the ideal places for the consumer’s incentive program. Non-food retail stores are where Amazon is destroying small businesses. Amazon has created brick-and-mortar environments that look like the old steel mills of the midwest. Small economies gone, abandon, and cultivation soil is dead.
We need to incorporate a system where people do not shop on Amazon. Is Amazon a pestilence in our cities and communities; do they exploit their labor force, and have they destroyed small competitors? Why have they not pay any tax? Yes, they are cancer for the local markets. Amazon reaps all the benefits of doing business in our markets with no obligation of paying taxes.
Go out and buy goods from stores. Today, be a “consumer activist,” support your local business. This revitalization of neighborhood shops will surface again with our support and dollars. Money talks, remember [sic]? We need to be as audacious as we can be. If we do not take bold steps, I am afraid will be the new rusted economy. The retrograde of America urban and rural areas will only fold by innovation and risk. Have faith and support our local shopkeepers.