Today (3/29/21) is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. It's a real holiday, believe it or not. The day was created by the son of a "mom and pop" duo that started a small business many years ago.

The son's name is Rick Segal and his "mom and pop" started a business in Massachusetts in 1939. Rick's parents started a hat shop in Everett, MA called "Ruth's". Later, the business evolved into a specialty clothing store for women and moved to Medford, MA. The business boomed for many years but eventually closed in 1997.

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Mom and Pop shops are what this country is all about. These are people with a dream and a belief in themselves. Today, nothing is more difficult than starting a small business and growing it. We all know how devastating COVID-19 has been but with all of that, brave Americans far and wide are still rolling the dice and taking a chance on themselves.

As a person who has worked for a few "mom and pop" shops over the years, I can tell you that it's extremely rewarding. You are given an opportunity to be a part of their dream and if they trust you, you can make a career out of it.

Let's all use today as an excuse to shop local. Try and remember, as you run your errands, you have a choice between a small business and a big box chain. Instead of visiting a drive-thru restaurant, pull into a local plaza and order a sandwich made by your neighbor. Instead of buying paint at the big box store, go get it at a local shop.

Before COVID-19, the mention of a mom and pop shop would have had me quoting Seinfeld. You see, Jerry took his sneakers to a "mom and pop" to have them cleaned and everything went sideways from there on out. To quote George Costanza, "If My mom and pop had a store, I wouldn't go there."

Don't be Costanza today, shop local and support your neighbor. You never know when you may need a hand from them and don't worry, mom and pop won't steal your sneakers.

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