Support Your Local Boomerpreneur

This article was written by Shelly Scriba, resident contributor at www.myboomer2boomer.com and was published in the May, 2010 issue of the The Baby Boomer News, LLC (and posted on Boomer Cafe on May 7, 2010).  

As the largest generation, it comes as no surprise that there are millions of Boomer-owned and operated businesses.  While it is vital that we support all of our local businesses, there are additional reasons to support Boomer owned businesses.  Especially now.

The current economic downturn has been especially hard on Boomers.  Those who have been down sized, right sized, or otherwise unemployed often see little in the way of employment opportunities as millions of people fight for the few available jobs.  Boomer unemployment rates and the length of time it takes to land a new job have never been higher.  And no one really knows how many Boomers have given up and stopped looking for work. 

While the job market is weak for all those who are on the outside looking in, Boomers often face an additional component – ageism.  It doesn’t take many clicks of your mouse to find bloggers, writers, and others who blame Boomers for just about everything that ails our country today.  Some admonish us for not retiring from the workforce so more jobs will be available for younger workers.  Others rant that our collective retirement will suck the economy dry as we collect Social Security and receive Medicare benefits without contributing to society.

Boomers have worked long and hard to rise to the top.  We didn’t just fall into positions of power and influence with wages to match the responsibilities.  When we entered the workforce we faced a tight job market because there were so many of us.  That helped to keep wages low then.  It also helped make us “loyal” because it was harder to change jobs amid the sea of other applicants.  So Boomers often stayed put, worked it out, and rose through the ranks until it was their “turn” for the corner office.  Many got to sit in the big chair but the dream ended for many as the Great Recession forced employers to shed costs and people, especially people who commanded high wages like the Boomers.

Today’s challenges are great and they come at a critical time for many Boomers as they watch their nest eggs erode for the second time in a decade.  Some will not have enough savings to sustain themselves in retirement.  Add the loss of a job along with growing ageism and outright age discrimination and you can see that many Boomers are in real trouble.  

Boomers are resilient and when faced with a problem they find a solution.  For many that means starting a business.  We call it Boomerpreneurship.   Boomerpreneurs may be new business owners or they may be veterans.  But one thing is certain.  New Boomer-owned and operated businesses are sprouting every day.  Some are started due to necessity but others are built upon a great idea or a novel product.  Still others tackle problems or meet challenges that others have not addressed. 

It doesn’t matter why Boomer businesses exist.  It is enough to know that they struggle during these challenging times and they need our support.  This may well be the worst business climate that Boomers will see during their working careers.  It has certainly been the most challenging in terms of unemployment.  Before it is over, it is very likely that either out of desire, out of a dream, or out of necessity, many more will start a new business.  Are you thinking about becoming a Boomerpreneur?

Imagine the jobs that you could create, think about the financial security you would have, the contributions you could still make to society and to your family, if hundreds, or thousands, or even millions of the nearly 79 million Baby Boomers actively and religiously supported your new business.  All business owners have guts.  During bad times they also have extra fears and worries.  But Boomerpreneurs face additional challenges.  They have fewer years to achieve their goals and little opportunity to recover financially if they fail.  That is why all Boomers need to support Boomerpreneurs.  If the day comes when we join their ranks we will know just how important that support will be. 

Shelly Scriba writes for myboomer2boomer, a brand-new, web-based organization designed to provide information and resources to Baby Boomers who want to support Boomer Friendly Businesses or who need to find Boomer Friendly Employers.  Visit the site at www.myboomer2boomer.com and share your knowledge of great Boomerpreneurs and other Boomer Friendly © companies, so we can build value for our Boomer visitors and support those who support us.     

 

 

 

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