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Finally, Some Good News: One Community

Joshua Passman

Working in the field of financial services public relations, I read more than my share of financial news stories. From the debt crisis in Europe to continued market uncertainty to the negative coverage of the private equity industry, the finance pages are so often filled with 'bad' news, especially as of late. Add to this the many news stories about rising college tuition rates, mounting pension fund liabilities and the slowdown on Wall Street, the feel-good financial news story can be hard to come.

Customers wait to make their purchases ls, Oat Chagrin Hardware in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

That being said, I was happy to see a recent article about how one community "occupied" a local hardware store to give it a sales boost at a time when Lowe's and Home Depot are putting so much pressure on the little guy. It all started with the efforts of a local resident of Chagrin Falls, Ohio organizing a group of people to hop in their cars and spend money at a local store that had been serving their community for decades. People, even those that had no need for hardware-related products, flooded the store to spend money to support the store and offer thanks for serving the community for so many years.

This story, which got picked up in news outlets nationwide, touched my heart. In my town in the suburbs north of New York City, a local pharmacy has been a fixture of our community since 1934. Not far down the road, construction is under way on a brand new Walgreens, which no doubt will put financial strain on our neighborhood pharmacy.

Could I be that guy, the guy who rallies the community to support our local landmark? I don’t know, but I am going to find out. I’m going to give it a shot and see if I can be as successful as Jim Black, who organized the Chagrin Hardware “cash mob.”

Stay tuned. I will report back this spring to let you know how I do. CJP

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