Posts tagged ‘assyrian economy’

July 1st, 2009: 5th Annual ‘buy from an Assyrian’ Day

It was close to 5 years ago when Assyrian Voice first pioneered the ‘Buy from an Assyrian’ day. On this day, which falls on July 1st, every Assyrian is asked and encouraged to go out and buy from their local Assyrian stores and businesses. Your support of Assyrian businesses on this day is merely symbolic and the hope is thY every day is like ‘July 1st.’

What is so special about this day and why do we have to help Assyrian businesses and stores? Shouldn’t they be helping the Assyrian community. Well, without the community’s support as a whole, these businesses will not be able to help us in turn. All other cultural groups help their own businesses, creating a small economy within another bigger economy, so why can’t we do it?

It is very simple. Go buy an Assyrian music album, dine at an Assyrian restaurant, or do your shopping at an Assyrian store. And if you are not close to any Assyrian store or business, you can buy from the various online Assyrian retail stores.

The idea is to create a self-enforcing cycle of support. The community supports Assyrian businesses and these businesses in turn will return the favor by supporting community events and charities. This was actually evident at the recent April. 1st Assyrian New Year gathering where there was various sponsors who in turn were selling their products, to a very receptive and supportive attendance.

You don’t have to spend in the
hundreds, unless you want to of course. Even a few dollars will do. Remember, the idea is to get people buying from these stores for the long term and not just one day on the year. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be on July 1st, but can be done any other day you can make it.

The hope is that these businesses will continue their sponsorships and supporting of local Assyrian events, charities and even fund projects for our people back home. We are helping build the fundementals of a small virtual economy. Done collectively wherever there Assyrians, you will get a massive influx of money ending up in the pockets of Assyrians. They in turn will use it for all that we mentioned above. It starts from you though!


Buy from Assyrians

Let me start by asking you this simple question, whose answer may not be an easy or accurate one to find out: how many Assyrians live in your city or region? if you are in a city like Detroit, Chicago, Sydney or Toronto, chances are, there is more than a few thousands Assyrians living in your area. It is also very likely that you share the same postal code with some hundreds of them. Now the next question is: how many Assyrian businesses exist in your area? none, a few, or maybe many of them? let us take Toronto or Detroit for example. How many Assyrian auto mechanic shops are there? how many Assyrian/Middle Eastern restaurants are there in Detroit? I am sure there is more than a few.

Now the next question is: with so many thousands of Assyrians living in these big cities, and with lots of established Assyrian businesses and franchises, why not bring the two closer together? that is, why not have most Assyrians buying from Assyrian businesses, while the Assyrian businesses to tailor their services and products for these Assyrian customers? In other words, Assyrians are going to buy and spend money anyways, so why not spend it in Assyrian stores and businesses where possible? those businesses in turn will support community events, social and religious charities etc. So it is more of a self-enforcing cycle; the Assyrian consumer supports the Assyrian business and vise versa.

In talking to people, I have noticed that some of them have had a negative dealing with Assyrian businesses at times. This may be true but it should in no way prevent an exchange between the two. After all, if we can’t establish trust between our own community members, how can we trust the world? more trust should be built between the two. In fact, Assyrian businesses should promote themselves to the Assyrian consumer more often.  This can be done through traditional advertising or public campaigns, channeled through community mediums.

Now you may be wondering, why focus on the Assyrian customer, don’t these businesses already have their own customers? they probably do, but imagine these made-up examples

-Sydney, Australia has 5 Assyrian hair shops. Sydney has some 30,000 Assyrians living in them. If one third of this population was to use these Assyrian hair stylists, we would be giving them business like no other.

-An Assyrian auto mechanic in Chicago: now Chicago has got, arguably, the biggest Assyrian population outside of the middle east. With at least 10,000 Assyrian drivers in the city, and some 10 Assyrian auto service shops, we could be creating a fortune for these guys, if a big fraction of these drivers went to these mechanic, as opposed to non-Assyrian ones.

-A food super market in Toronto: if 500 Assyrian families were to buy part of their monthly shopping from one of the many Assyrian food stores in Toronto, these businesses would profit greatly.

In other words, it is really easy to help our businesses, and help establish a virtual Assyrian economy which spans boarders and time zones.  In fact, if the above scenarios were implemented and applied, we could easily create new Assyrian millionaires, which is not a bad thing at all.  So what should you, as a consumer, do to help? well you can do a lot. To begin with, make sure you try to give your money to an Assyrian businesses as much as possible. Try to tell your friends and relatives about all Assyrian businesses in your area. Note that, by this, we are not calling of a boycott of non-Assyrian businesses and products. We are simply giving Assyrian businesses a priority.

And finally, , a website of which I am a part of and its founder, has dedicated “July 1st”, to be an annual “Buy from an Assyrian” day, where Assyrians are encouraged to go out and buy something from an Assyrian. So mark this day on your calendar and make sure you go out and buy something on this day, from an Assyrian. In fact, you should make this habit, and buy something from an Assyrian, at least once every month.