Ron Tarver has had a hell of a time with his Distillery. Many people in the neighborhood have seen his ToT, "Taking our Time," sign in the window for as long as the paper has taken the time to deteriorate... but there's a logical explanation. Turns out Ron and the City of Denver have gone 'round and 'round about the matter of his Distillery for some time. The time and money he has lost is indicative of the struggle of small community business owners. Also, Ron owns that building there, that includes the SoBro famous Bardo Coffee House. He truly is a part of the South Broadway community.
Hearing stories like this time and time again, with some containing consequences that cost families their entire livelihood, has been exhausting over the years. Also, the structure of American community is meant to be interdependent with the businesses that reside within the community. This relationship is generally overlooked.
To put it simply, people buy stuff which sustains the business, then, businesses provide community muscle to the government itself. Communities influence laws and ordinances. They attract the need for more police and security. Also, things not more regularly thought about, like attracting the need for more lighting for the street. This results in safer visibility at night.
After realizing the need for this aid and the role of small business in community there was one thing I couldn't understand:
When political organizers get involved in what they call "community building," why don't they adjust the needs of business owners? Sometimes, the concept is called "relationship building." What kind of relationship? Is it Interdependent?
After asking these questions and doing some research I designed a few of what I call "Business Relief Strategies" to provide "help" in respects to the needs of the business. This is a design of the SMRF curriculum for Trials of Activism. Students will learn to interpret the needs of others. In Ron's case:
I have volunteered a discount construction wage of only $12.00/hr to do backbreaking work that just needs to be done. Ron has a business partner. His name is Chad Peters. Chad is a master carpenter and could probably do it all on his own but help is humble and just because you can doesn't mean you should.
When interpreting our place in a relationship with others we must determine what our needs are as well. Conditional to me and who I am, choosing a distillery is in line with my development of personal skills. Students will interpret this on their own. I know how to homebrew beer and learning to distill develops me personally
Also, with the partnership between the two, SMRF will be marketed by the distillery. Ron even offered me a spot behind the bar if I ever need a job after they open!