Tag Archives: Local businesses

Unsung Heroes #219

This week’s Unsung Heroes award is simple: Every local merchant.

For nearly 2 years, whether they sell toys, clothes, gifts or liquor — well, okay, maybe not the latter — they’ve had a very tough time.

COVID kept customers home. Some remain hesitant to return. The supply chain broke. So did the supply of willing and able workers.

Everywhere they turned, every store owner who had done all the right things suddenly found it wasn’t enough.

But they adapted. They adopted new methods of sales and delivery. They worked extra hours themselves.

They persevered. They survived. And now — during what is for many the busiest week of the busiest month of the year — they continue to serve us.

Take a bow, Westport merchants. We thank you for your wonderful, way-beyond-what’s-expected service.

Now: Get back to work. There’s a line at the counter, and they need help!

Local to Market patio brings fresh energy — and tons of cool Connecticut products to downtown. It’s one of many mom-and-pop shops that’s making our town alive again.

We Ask, And They Give

blog - barber poleThe other day I was having what’s left of my hair cut.  Tommy Ghianuly — for 50 years the owner of Compo Barber Shop — and I chatted away, solving the world’s problems.

In mid-snip, a man Tommy never saw before walked in.  A concert was coming up; could Tommy put a poster in his window?  Of course, Tommy said.  Immediately he added it to the other flyers — for carnivals, Toquet Hall, music recitals — that filled the front.

You must get asked for a lot of things, I said.

You have no idea, Tommy replied.

I thought about all the program booklets I’ve seen.  Staples Players, sports banquets, charity fundraisers — if there’s a printed brochure, Compo Barbers likely has an ad.

I asked Tommy about that too.

If it involves kids, he tries to support it, Tommy said.  He can’t do everything, but for him kids come first.

Tommy’s not the only one.  Fortuna’s, Calise’s, Westport Wash & Wax, Mitchells, Land-Tech, Gault — they, and many others, are always asked to buy ads.  And they almost always do.

What do they have in common?  They’re all local businesses.

Now think about who doesn’t buy program ads:  the chain stores.  You rarely see them supporting Westport events.

If you work on a local project and you ask a chain store for help, you know the responses:  “Sorry, it’s against store policy.”  “We’d love to, but we can’t.”  “I have to check with corporate.  Can you call back in 2 or 3 weeks?”

The next time you sit down at a Staples play, sports banquet or similar event, look closely at the program.  Think about who really supports our town.

And then support those folks too.