Debbie DeRogatis is helping a customer choose the perfect gift.
It's a late Friday morning and Debbie is doing what she has done for the past decade: Taking care of customers.
This Friday, Something Different was celebrating something special. Debbie reached a milestone: 10 years of operating her unique women's' boutique, an anniversary that many small business owners may never experience.
And that's a shame.
In this day of franchises like McDonald's and Wal-Mart, small business owners are fighting an uphill battle, struggling to overcome an economic downturn that has crippled many a store and stripped away the extra cash that most people relied on for buying things other than necessities.
That's why we must do our part. We need to do our part to ensure that not only do our small businesses survive, but that they thrive.
Most of the money I spend goes right to Forks Township. Or to places in neighboring Palmer Township. (Both townships make up my Patch.)
For example, on Thursday, I ate breakfast at the Forks Diner, got a haircut at SuperCuts and then grabbed a few slices at Nicolosi's.
It seems like nearly every day I'm buying groceries at the Giant.
I'll also eat breakfast at the Tic-Toc Diner in Palmer and the Route 248 Diner, which sits on the Palmer border with Lower Nazareth Township.
I do my banking at KNBT, buy stamps at Ace Hardware, get takeout Chinese from Beijing, get a beer now and then at Big Woody's and also frequent Weis for food, gas and to put air in my tires from time to time.
It's great to see a place like Debbie's doing well. During my office hours, I got to see Debbie in action and watch as people picked up gifts of beads and bracelets and early Christmas presents.
Whether it's a place like Salvatore's or Something Different, our local businesses are something special. Please keep supporting them.