SHERYL AND I were not amused by a recent effort to promote the idea of getting a Guitar Center in Quincy.
Why should we have a big box behemoth infamous for lousy service and financial issues? We have two music stores in Quincy - down from three since TTP closed in July. Do you really think Quincy could support this kind of store?
No. It couldn't. St. Louis had two Guitar Centers but one closed not long ago. I'd rather go to Fazio's than a Guitar Center, any day, or the Rock Shop in Springfield.
Asking people to sign a Guitar Center petition is like asking people to sign a Ruby Tuesday or Red Lobster petition. Why? Why? WHY? We have great local restaurants in town already. Why go to a cookie-cutter for watered down and overpriced entrees?
If a Guitar Center comes to Quincy, Second String Music will have no choice but to go out of business. We cannot compete. You might save a few bucks on strings, maybe look at higher end guitars or play a high end Gibson. Then go buy it online to save the sale tax. Actually, our major competition anymore is the internet, and it's forced us to cut margins in order to compete. But we do it. We try our best to stay competitive and give our musicians the best possible prices locally.
We are a small mom and pop music store that does its best to support the community, especially downtown. I guarantee you Guitar Center wouldn't give two bleeps about Quincy, wouldn't support any of its many music-themed events, and would exist solely to make a profit for people who live nowhere near our community.
Before I got into the music store bidness, I'd go to Guitar Center and suffer low guitar blood sugar. But I never made major purchases there - Smith Music and Vegas Music got my business, because I understood the lifeblood of my community is small business.
We are the ones who care about Quincy and care about the local music scene. The big boys don't, never will, and we will all be better off if they never come.
If you need the lecture about small town economics, talk to Sheryl. She will remind you that every dollar you spend in your small town at small business will recirculate within your economy six times before leaving. When you spend on the internet your money leaves your small economy forever, never to return. When you spend your money in a big box store your money recirculates within you economy two times and exits permanently.
When you are wondering where the jobs went, review where you are spending your money. Buy from local small businesses and GROW your local economy. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.