Many of you are aware that my beloved brother Billy Cordova passed away in the second week of July.
For those of you who are not, here is a summary: Billy and his beautiful wife Holly were riding their motorcycle on a Sunday leisure ride.
They were in an accident that resulted in severe injuries to both of them. My brother did not survive. Holly is in the middle of a miraculous recovery and to date is doing quite well. She was hospitalized for some time after the accident, but is home now.
By writing this letter, I want to call attention to the actions of local small business owners following the accident. I also want to remind people of how important it is to support local businesses.
Small business ownership is a lifestyle choice. It is a choice to fulfill a need that your community would be hard pressed to get by without. Small towns are a limited market in which growth is measured over decades, not years.
These days, the majority of small businesses have to compete with mammoth corporations operating online. Small business owners have to use their managing skills to constantly adapt to a changing marketplace.
Small businesses survive in spite of limited buying power and thin margins. These local business owners have chosen to accept that they will live according to a budget in order to serve the customers they love and live the wonderful life Chaffee County has to offer.
I want to tell you that among the list of retailers (auto parts, construction materials, etc.), service providers, restaurants, brokers, bakers, photographers, bankers, tool rental, outfitters and construction service/suppliers (and more) that made efforts to support our family, all except one was a locally owned and operated business.
These folks did everything from host fundraisers, make donations, offer products to finish jobs out at little or no cost, allow their employees to attend the services or homecoming and so much more.
One company in particular helped with an unexpected and untimely boiler failure. While my brother’s wife was still in the hospital, I found that their boiler was leaking and saturating the drywall in the basement.
It took one call and the local folks were on it. It was a team effort from a local plumbing supply house and a couple local plumbers.
This kind of concern and action only comes from people who live with, work with, and love each and every patron they serve.
You absolutely can not get that level of individual support from a large entity. In large corporations, there are too many policies, procedures, management levels and unbridgeable gaps between lives and the decisions that effect them.
I mentioned one national company that participated. I want to say that they did so only after I called the national headquarters to discuss an unbreakable policy that I needed to operate outside of in order to serve Billy’s family best.
I appreciate the folks from this company that got involved in the process and made it happen for us eventually. But, I really appreciate those who did not wait for me to ask what they could do. They were calling me and asking if they could put their plan into action.
God bless each and every one of you. I am not naming companies because most indicated that they wanted to humbly give.
This letter is my way of saying thank you to them and to tell you all that it really matters when you choose to support local businesses.
It is an investment in each other’s lives that you know will be appreciated and will pay dividends to you and your neighbors.
I gotta tell you, I am guilty of allowing my budget to take me to national corporations in search of savings. I pledge to never do that again.