As summer’s upon us and health restrictions ease I’m looking forward to more and more small businesses popping up all over the city. I’m talking about the kind of small business without a traditional storefront, and the kind that does not take debit or credit cards. These are cash only transactions. The people running these businesses are usually very savvy, and the nature of how they pop up a business, sometimes for only one hour at a time makes them quite elusive. However, they provide a great service to cyclists on a hot day. I came across one last week in Richmond and was thankful that I always carry cash on me.
If you do see one of these, even if you’re not on your bike, but you’re walking, jogging or driving I think it’s worth it to stop and give them your business. People need to start somewhere, and like anything they need your support to grow. But remember, it’s cash only. I always carry a five dollar bill when I’m on my bike so I can support these entrepreneurs if I see them. I’m talking about children who run a lemonade stand.
As an adult, is there anything else that so easily takes you back in time to when you were young? Lemonade stands are synonymous with being young and being ambitious. Or, it means you just wanted something that your parents wouldn’t buy you! I remember being young and trying to raise money with a lemonade stand on Williams so I could buy some 8mm film for a video camera from the drug store in Shellmont mall. What was the name of it? It was beside the Royal Bank and the laundromat and the hair stylist that my mom went to forever. Was there a bowling alley there at some point?
What I’m saying is that some things never change. While Richmond turns to concrete and reaches higher into the sky, if you keep yourself on the ground, especially using a bike, you’ll get around and find many of the same things today, that we had back then. So go for a ride this summer, look for those small independent businesses and always carry a five dollar bill.
Geordie is an avid cyclist who writes his Saddle Up column on cycling in Richmond.