When Jeremy Biondi vented his feelings of frustration and defeat as a struggling small business owner on Facebook, members of the Newton community didn’t just keep on scrolling through their newsfeed. Instead, they rallied around one of their own.
Biondi has owned and operated his restaurant Moo’s BBQ, once located on Newton’s downtown square and now on Interstate 80 exit 164, for about four years. The past three months have been rough, Biondi said, noting “the restaurant business is hard and difficult.”
Led by a social media campaign by fellow small business owner Brock Patterson, one by one, other small business owners stepped up to make the “Eat Moo’s” event a success. Patterson, who owns Bridgehouse Coffee Co. in Newton, began by offering a $5 gift card to his coffee shop if you spent $20 or more at Moo’s on Thursday.
From there, Patterson was inundated by other business owners and community members who wanted to help. Some offered discounts of their own to their businesses, while dozens of other raffle items were made available to those who ate at Moo’s.
“When you step into the batter’s box of business you strike out more times than you hit home runs,” Patterson said. “I don’t want to see him fail, so any help is appreciated.”
The event turned into something much larger than he was planning, Patterson said. The community really showed up.
We think the benefits of living in a smaller, close-knit community like Newton are reflected in ways we sometimes take for granted. The ways in which we uplift and support our local businesses is one way we can demonstrate our small-town pride.
Everyone who bought a burger or some barbecue at Moo’s on Thursday showed they are invested in making Newton a welcoming place for small business. That’s not something you can find in every community. It’s something for which we should be grateful — and perhaps something to build on.