When is Small Business Saturday? This year 2020, it falls on November 28th and it is a national call to pay attention and support small businesses. John’s Crazy Socks is a small business and we believe that Small Business Saturday is really about community. Small Business Saturday is about giving back and supporting our neighbors.
Wait a second, you say, isn’t Small Business Saturday about local businesses? It is - but there are many types of local businesses. There is the local store or restaurant in Huntington Village. There is also the cupcake business that operates out of a home kitchen and sells online and through farmer’s markets. And there is the craftsperson selling handmade designs on Etsy. And there is the graphic artist who connects with customers online.
We operate an e-commerce business and we sell to customers across the United States and around the world, yet we remain a small business grounded in our community. We are a family business, founded by a father and son. We have our office and warehouse here in Melville. When customers buy from us, you enable us to invest in our local community. You enable us to engage in our community. Your purchases make a difference for our community.
Here are some of the ways that we engage with our community:
- Creating Jobs and Hiring Locally
- Raising money for Local Organizations and Charities through our Giving Back Program
- Working with Local Schools and Social Service Agencies
- Buying from Local Business
- Making Home Deliveries
- Collecting and Paying Sales Tax
- Renting Space that includes Paying Property Taxes through that Lease
- Celebrating our Local Community through our Social Media
Creating Jobs and Hiring Locally
We hire from the local community so when you buy from us, you create jobs for people right here in Huntington. We recruit in the community. For example, when we have openings, we work with the Huntington Resource Center to recruit from Huntington, particularly from Huntington Station. We work with social service agencies to recruit clients who have a differing ability. We work with area high schools, tech programs and colleges to employ their graduates, particularly graduates from their special education programs. We have a half dozen alumni from Huntington High School employed here. When we have openings, we reach out through local elected officials and through local social media groups. Supporting this small business means creating jobs in the community.
Raising Money for Local Organizations and Charities through our Giving Back Program
Giving back is essential to everything we do. We start by donating 5% of our earnings to the Special Olympics and we create awareness and charity products that raise money for our charity partners. We pay particular attention to supporting local charities and organizations. Here are some examples:
- Our Firefighter Tribute Socks raise money for the Nassau County Firefighters Museum
- Our EMT Tribute Socks raise money for the Huntington Community First Aid Squad
- Our Blue Whale Socks raise money for the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum
- Our Healthcare This Superhero Wears Scrubs Socks and our masks raise money for COVID-19 frontline workers at Good Samaritan Hospital
- Our Down Syndrome Awareness Socks raise money for ACDS, a local program that works with people with Down syndrome as well as the National Down Syndrome Society
- Our Autism Awareness Socks raise money for the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America as well as Autism Speaks
In addition to our charity socks that raise money for local organizations, we donate to local organizations as well including:
Working with Local Schools and Social Service Agencies
We want to show the world what people with differing abilities can do and we start that effort by working with local schools and social service agencies. Prior to the pandemic, we hosted school tours where students could come and see what work looks like and how people like them have good, meaningful jobs. We hosted work groups with local high schools (Huntington, Northport, Wilson Tech, Half Hollow Hills, etc.) so students could get a taste of work and gain skills and confidence.
We have now moved those tours online, but we continue to serve as training site for social service agencies. And we work with schools to provide support for their efforts like serving on an advisory board for Wilson Tech.
Buying from Local Business
Like all local businesses, we support other local, small businesses. Every Wednesday, we host Bagel Wednesday which means we buy from a local bagel store. On Friday, we host Staff Lunch Friday, which means we buy from local delis and restaurants. We contract with local small businesses to provide tech support, do work in our office and provide us with some of our supplies and material.
Making Home Deliveries
John Cronin, our founder and inspiration, is a real person who loves his business and community. Our office and warehouse are in Melville and John lives in Huntington Village. If we receive an order between Melville and Huntington, John makes a home delivery. No extra charge. John shows up at your door and hands you your package. What is more local than making a home delivery?
Collecting and Paying Sales Tax
We may sell around the world, but when we sell to local customers or any customers in New York, we collect and pay sales tax. So, we may not have a store in town, but we collect sales tax just like that store in town.
Renting Space that Includes Paying Property Taxes through that Lease
Yes, we are an e-commerce business, but we rent space in the local community and when we do so, we are indirectly paying local property taxes.
Celebrating our Local Community
As a local small business, we engage in our community and we celebrate Huntington. We are members of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and active in their activities. We give speeches around the country and now, thanks to video conferencing, around the world. Wherever we go, we speak of how our business was born and developed in Huntington. Because we lead our business and live in Huntington, we spend much of our lives here and we share much of what we do on social media spreading good news about our local community.