Support

Small Businesses and Your Community – What You Need to Know!

This past Saturday was Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday first observed in 2010 to encourage shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are SMALL and LOCAL, as sort of an answer to the Black Friday super-deals by the big box chains and online retailers.

The UK followed suit in 2013 with their own recognized holiday! Why you may ask? In today’s internet-based world shopping online has often become the go-to for the “best deal” and time strapped individuals. But, when this tide change happens, what happens to our local communities?

Communities are made up of many interconnected parts!

Small businesses help keep communities diverse! By supporting unique retailers and service providers you can literally preserve the quality of your street corner! When small businesses close up shop it can start a chain reaction of nearby businesses closing their doors or strip malls emptying.

Abandoned storefronts and dark street corners lower nearby property values and discourage growth in that area – who wants to be the only store left open in a strip mall?

Small businesses have a stake in their community!

Small businesses get approached OFTEN for donations to local fundraisers. Did you know Ellipse donates to a HUGE percentage of requests? Your support of local business allows small business to support the community, and it goes around and around. Tell a friend about your workouts this week! Invite them in for a session with you!

How can I do my part to support small business?

Small business will typically offer some of the best personalized service you will find. Local small business owners know they need to be able to stand apart from “the big guys” to have a chance against their big box competitors and online products and services.

Did the shoe store clerk spend time with you to find the perfect pair of shoes, only to turn around and purchase them online? Would you have been able to even purchase them online without physically going into the store to try them on?

Purchasing goods or services isn’t the only way you can help though!

1. Comment on their social media posts regularly, even if it’s just an emoji.
2. Share their social media posts with your network.
3. Instead of simply liking a post, comment with a “heart” or “yes!” These things will help their page/business be seen on social media which is invaluable free advertising!

MEMBERS!

Are you happy? Can we do more? Let us know!

This is one fantastic benefit of patronizing local businesses over corporate chains – your opinion matters! Your feedback and input help customize small businesses goods and services, so they can best provide what people in the community need. Try getting a big box 24-hour chain to switch up their practices or inventory with a simple request – good luck!

Shocking Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Domestic Abuse

This week we have a more serious tone in light of our Victory Over Violence event coming up this Saturday, March 24th. Every year we invite our members and communities to join us for a benefit event with the aiming of “knocking out” domestic abuse – raising funds for local support outlets. This is something that literally anyone can do; find a space, start a fun engaging event, and give your community a reason to care and a reason to support victims of domestic abuse!

Although there are some stereotypical views of what domestic violence looks like, it has no single face. It could be your neighbor, friend, relative, or that person you just passed on the street.

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes not just physical or sexual violence, but also threats or emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically of course, but ultimately if you live in a state of fear of your intimate partner we’re encouraging you to seek help!

Please, if you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for totally confidential support.

The Sobering Facts

• Nearly 1 in 5 women have been a victim of sexual assault at some point in their life. Link

• It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime!

• The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk for homicide by 500%.

• 1 in 3 female murder victims and 1 in 20 male murder victims are killed by intimate partners.

• A child witnessed violence in 22% of the intimate partner violence cases in state courts.

• Facebook reported that 45% of users in the U.S. had at least one friend who had posted #MeToo on their timeline with only a few days of the movement! Link

Here’s a story that is all too common:
In January of this year Sara Schmidt of Appleton, WI (Town of Harrison) was murdered outside of her home by her husband, leaving behind 3 children. She had filed for divorce after her husband was arrested for domestic violence, but he had been released on bail. She had, by all accounts, done everything right in trying to stay safe. Schmidt was the second woman killed in a domestic violence incident in just four months in the Fox Cities.

– This is part of why so many people who are victims of domestic violence are afraid to take action, so we MUST find a way to give them better support – to open the path for them without putting them at further risk.

Warning Signs of an Abuser

Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people per year. Red flags and warning signs of an abuser are important to recognize and include things like:
• extreme jealousy • possessiveness • unpredictability • bad temper • cruelty to animals • verbal abuse • controlling behavior • antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships • controls the finances • Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school

Watch for red flags. If you feel you, or someone you know may be in trouble, please reach out confidentially! Again the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

There is help out there, and there are people who care about your well-being. Please seek support if you are reading this knowing that you are a victim, and if you are not? Please take some sort of action to support those who are.