This article in the New Yorker put structure to many of the thoughts occupying space in my head for a number of years. Specifically these:
PEDAL is good for Kalamazoo County. We pay property tax. We pay state and federal taxes. We pay the salaries of several people, and those people plunk the vast majority of their pay back into the community in the forms of rent, groceries and entertainment. We collect and remit a large sum of sales tax for the Great State of Michigan. We talk at your kid’s club. We donate a lot of money (over $30,000 in the last five years) to local trail efforts. We donate time, money and products to many of your favorite local races and events.
I don’t talk about this stuff much for two reasons. One, I’m just not much of a chest-beater. Secondly, and most importantly, I don’t want to guilt anyone into doing business with us. I don’t want your pity. I want to earn your business. I want you to shop at Pedal because you like shopping at Pedal. It shouldn’t be some second-class experience you suffer for the greater community economic value. If you don’t like doing business at Pedal, I’d like to know about it and make it better. You can email me any time or call the shop.
We love bikes. We love helping people get into cycling. We love where we live, and we love our neighbors. Our way is not to strip what we can out of our environment, but to try and establish a symbiotic relationship through which we can make a living and give something back.
There. It’s off my chest now, and I feel better. Thanks for your indulgence. Pedal is at your service.