Published: October 27, 2020 | Updated: October 27, 2020

Small businesses come up big in overcoming adversity

Mike Patrick

Mike Patrick

This issue is dedicated largely to the little guys.

And by "guys" we also mean any and all genders.

Our cover story features a likable, intelligent, hard-working small businessman named Paul Banducci. Paul loves his Silver Lake Mall-based cigar and pipe business somewhat better, shall we say, than government regulations and regulators. While not an out-and-out anti-gummit advocate, Banducci will happily bend a friendly ear explaining why he believes he did nothing wrong after being investigated and initially charged with serious crimes that later were reduced to misdemeanors.

His business survives, which is a real boon to his many friends and customers. But it hasn't been easy. In fact, a photo shoot for the story was delayed because Paul was out doing community service.

Banducci is far from alone in keeping his nose above trouble. In other cases, the pandemic is the culprit. The fabulous fruit stand on Government Way that seemingly always has been there, especially when you need a good tomato, peach or pumpkin? Well, thanks to Liz Poteet & Co., it's managed to hang on with no plans to hang it up anytime soon.

The beauty industry has suffered - at least the local, hands-on variety. While Amazon and other digital dealers have done wonderfully, Madison Hardy will take you behind the scenes and show how two local businesses have survived the ugly pandemic quite beautifully.

We'd be remiss in not mentioning two historic, family-owned Bed and Breakfast places just a few blocks from each other - and both on the sales block. The little guys behind these ventures have big hopes for the future.

When the full nine-inning game is finally up, the pandemic will no doubt have plenty to crow about. But the local scoreboard will show a host of teams victorious. Here's to them - and to all the tough outs that haven't been able to hang on.

— Mike Patrick, BJNI Editor