Why supporting small business is so important

EDITORIAL — My son and I love movies. Not a little. We love movies a lot. Almost as much as we love books.

We almost always go to Satellite Cinemas because it’s five blocks from home and we support local, small businesses.

Sometimes, like last Wednesday at the 4:50 p.m. showing of “Wonder,” we were the only people in the theater for this fabulous movie. Other times, there are a handful of other families or couples. Hardly ever a full house.

Sometimes no one shows up for the late movie and they have to lock up early.

But if you’re the only ones who arrive for a 9 p.m. or 9:30 movie and have your tickets in hand before the previews start, they will usually stay open just for you while they clean up and do the bookkeeping.

I wonder – and worry – about how they stay open. My son and I would really miss our hometown theater if it was gone.

We bet you would, too.

We know beachside families are going to the movies often. We know the massive multiplexes in Viera and West Melbourne have a few more bells and whistles than our little theater. But Satellite Cinemas every single week brings the barrier island four first-run movies – without the need to go over the bridge or fight traffic to get there.

They also hire our local high school and college students, giving them valuable job experience and some cash to pay for gas and car insurance. The employees are always very friendly and helpful. They know the importance of great service. For example, I like butter on my popcorn and my son does not. If we get a bucket or big bag of popcorn, and I ask them to please pour off some for my son before they put the butter on, they just scoop him up a bag fresh. No charge.

Over the holidays, when you plan a movie outing, please don’t overlook a small business right in your back yard. And before you spend hundreds of dollars on chain-store gift cards, remember that local shops and restaurants also sell gift certificates or gift cards to give to friends and family. They need your dollars to remain viable.

Our kids will bring their friends or their own families back home to the South Beaches someday and want to take them to all their favorite haunts. Or to revisit the scene of their first date. How sad would it be to find those places shuttered?

The Melbourne Beachsider encourages our readers to support all of our local mom-and-pop island businesses and restaurants as you shop for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, as you plan holiday parties, and as you dine out. It would be a grim sight indeed if A1A was lined with big-box stores and chain restaurants and looked like U.S. 192. Or worse, if it was miles of dark, vacant buildings.

We’d also love it if you let our advertisers know you saw them in the Beachsider and that you appreciate their support of our hometown paper. We’re a small business, too.

We are not and will never be owned by, or our reporting controlled by, a big media conglomerate like Gannett. We exist only because the business community recognizes the importance of solid, intelligent and truly local journalism. We want to grow our publication to bring even more local news and interesting feature stories to more local mailboxes on the island in the coming year.

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