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Reality Check: Why does Los Alamos not support local business?
When the Monitor listed my candidacy, they had me as “musician.” That’s true enough, but it would have been equally true if they had listed me as “musician/business owner ( - man, - person, however you want to put that).”
“Business owner?” A musician as a business owner? Do you normally consider the one as synonymous with the other?
Would it help if you know that I have been a free-lance musician, doing my own promotion, getting my own bookings and working solo for more than 25 years, that I file a schedule C and SE just like any other business, that I have a business license and pay GRT just like any other business?
What, actually, is a business owner? Okay, here in Los Alamos, I own Hannemann Music, which is, in part, a retail music dealership. But it is also a home-based business.
Is “home-based” a “business?” What, actually, is a business? Would it help if I tell you that along with having the license and paying the GRT, I earn my living solely from my business and have done so, on the musician side of things, for almost 30 years?
When you first meet someone, do you ask, “What division do you work for?”
Do you assume that all businesses are owned by someone who is lab employed? Many are, but does it occur to you that some business owners actually depend on their business income as a sole source of revenue. Can you imagine that?
Would Los Alamos residents be more supportive of local businesses if those businesses were more likely to be self-supporting/owner-supporting rather than indirectly lab supported – either because the business owner or spouse is also a lab employee.
Or is the idea of an owner-supporting business so foreign as to be considered simply not possible?
What, actually, is a “business?” Does it have to have a storefront? Why? Does it have to have the same level of inventory as any similar store in any place like Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles or even Albuquerque? Why?
As to the inventory part, do you expect a start-up to have the same inventory as a business that has been in operation for many years? Why?
If you contact a local business asking for a certain product and they don’t have it, do you:
• Assume that perhaps there isn’t enough demand locally to support carrying the product, or that you may be the first person to have asked for that product, or that the store is a start-up and is still in the process of learning what products it needs to stock on a regular basis, so you simply ask the proprietor to order the product for you and patiently wait about the same amount of time it would take to get it if you ordered it off the internet or;
• Do you walk out in a huff, declare the store to be worthless, determine you will never shop there again, tell your friends not to shop there again and make every effort you can to close the business down while yelling that the only solution is to have a big box that carries everything?
Can you think beyond being an employee and a consumer? Can you think beyond the lab?
If Los Alamos is to truly grow and thrive, the very first thing that has to happen is for people in Los Alamos to check in with their attitudes, assumptions, presumptions, expectations and ask themselves, “Could it be that I am part of the problem?”
Richard Hannemann (County council candidate)