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Put your money where your heart is

My husband Gary and I used to have a date night every week at this amazing little family-owned restaurant. The people were so sweet, and the food was so delicious. But most nights, we were the only customers there. Or it’d be us, plus a tiny smattering of other people. Very quiet.

One night, we went in for dinner and one of the owners came up with tears in her eyes.

“We’re closing this Sunday,” she told us.

We asked what happened. Apparently, the landlord raised their rent and they weren’t busy enough to afford the higher monthly rate.

Not long after that, a friend of mine posted a note on Facebook about one of her fave businesses, which had also closed down. Same deal: the rent was too high, the sales were too low, and staying open had become unsustainable. The Facebook thread went on and on…

“No!” “I love that place!” “So sad!” “I can’t believe they’re closed!”

Hundreds of people, mourning the closure of a beloved local spot, and posting comment after comment. An avalanche of sad-face emojis.

As the comments rolled on and on, all I could think was, “Where were all of these people back when the place was open? Where was all of this love… then?!”

All of this has reminded me…

Why you should put your money where your heart is

If there’s something I really love—a shop, a restaurant, a coach, a writer—then it’s my responsibility to support that person’s work. Not just with my feelings and thoughts, but with my dollars and cents. We’ve got to show up for each other. For real.

The local family-run dry cleaners who leave your shirts looking spotless? They’d love you to visit more often… and tell all your friends.

The local yoga studio with the kindest teachers who hug every student? If you bought a 10-class pack this month, it might make all the difference in the world.

The podcaster who created 100+ episodes that you’ve binged on, for free? And every year, she asks her listeners for a small donation to keep the show going, and every year, you fast-forward through that part and ignore her request? Maybe this year it’s time to chip in $20… or more, if you can. Because you love the show. Because it has touched your life. And because it’s the right thing to do.

Don’t wait until a business is shutting down to express how much you love them. Do it now. Buy something now. Don’t wait. Because next week might be too late.

This post is dedicated to my fave local restaurant. RIP. I visited a lot, but I wish I’d gone even more, and I really miss those delicious pupusas. Thanks for the memories and the meals. Lesson learned.