Categories: businessmedia

Not long ago, I received an e-mail from a business owner claiming that he has always served everyone and doesn’t see why he should have to purchase a sticker.

Honestly, I didn’t have an answer for him at the time.  So of course I had to think about it, and listen to peers that may have another perspective.

Is Open For Service needed?  I definitely think so.  And here’s why:

1)   There is a growing consumer base that is interested in supporting businesses that will not turn them or others away.  I hope that we can provide that information.

2)   Many local businesses do not have the marketing budget or social media presence to, “raise their hand” and support people of all walks of life.  My goal is to provide that channel.  (I’m still figuring out how we will do this . . more on that in another blog.)

3)   Politics.  One of the, (in my opinion), unintended consequences of the RFRA debacle here in Indiana, was that there is a huge potential loss that businesses would incur due to decreased visitor and convention traffic. How do we mitigate this reputation?  How do we, (regardless of political legislation decision), form a community that is set out to support each other?  The answer is Open For Service.

4)    **MOST IMPORTANTLY** It’s welcoming.  Believe it or not, there are people that are not comfortable being themselves in establishments due to fear of backlash.  While these situations are not always in the news cycle, you and your business are going the extra mile to, “shake the hand” of another person and reaffirming that you value them equally. 

So who is profiting from Open For Service?  Well, Stickermule – in that they print and ship the stickers.  We used Stickermule to significantly decrease the manpower and financial needs of Open for Service.  The rest of the funds from sticker purchases has gone to SCORE ($30,000!! raised at this point).  As I try to plan out the sustainability of Open For Service, we may have to look at new ways to get funding.  (If you have any ideas, please e-mail info@openforservice.org).

Not convinced yet that you need a sticker?  Well, we don’t have the budget to send them out for free, but we will add you to the directory at no charge.  We want this ecosystem to thrive and help facilitate this open door economy I mention from time to time.

Soon, you will be seeing some big things from Open For Service that hopefully will excite you as much as it has us.  The potential of it enhancing this community is HUGE!

PLEASE keep hanging out with us. Tell the stores or online sites that you appreciate them for supporting this organization and our mission. Take pictures, share everything, send us e-mails, and stay the course.  We are honored to have you as part of the Open For Service community.

5 comments

  1. Grady

    While some may see that sticker as stupid, its reassuring to me. The more and more I see it on buildings the more I feel I can be me. Believe it or not there are some out there who will act welcoming. But soon as they heard the word gay, they will jump at the chance to tell you their opinion.

    I dont announce who I am but I will not shy away from a discussion on being gay. However, I personally like knowing I dont have to keep my sheids up when I see that "stupid" sticker. And when I see it I am definitely more apt to walk into that store than the one that doesn’t.

  2. April T.

    I always smile when I see the sticker when I’m walking into work. I am reminded, every morning, that I work for a cool, forward thinking boss! And I’m proud to be a small part of the belief of equality in Indiana.

  3. JC

    It’s just another way to tax small business owners. Now if you want to do business in Indiana you need to buy some sticker to put on your door just so you don’t miss a sale because another business down the road has the sticker and you don’t.

    What are we supposed to do when we go to a store that does not display this sticker? Should we take our money elsewhere? How do we know that the business that is displaying the sticker actually supports equality? Maybe they just purchased (or downloaded) the sticker so their business would not be discriminated against for not having one.

    The irony is just too much. To fight against discrimination you create a sticker to identify those that are against discrimination effectively creating a system of discrimination between those businesses with a sticker and those without.

  4. Henry O

    Well JC, it’s not a tax because I’m pretty sure its not collected by the state and there is no lawfully enforceable penalty for not having the sticker.

    Furthermore, no business needs to lose a sale for not having said sticker. If a business owner would like to proudly proclaim to the public that they welcome folks from all walks of life into their establishment, there is nothing stopping them from crafting their own personalized sign stating such. Problem solved!

    Finally, displaying a sign saying that you welcome everybody is inherently anti-discrimination, so the last part of your argument doesn’t really hold up.

  5. Your missions are like all missions and not all will like or agree with, just stick to your mission stick with what you believe in! You all are doing great and I support this mission. The sticker is just a simple display to address comfort to customers before anyone even walks in. I have my sticker displayed and I get thanked for running businesses with a mindset as you all do. I raise my glass to everyone of you working your hardest to change the world. Cheers and thank you.
    Brodie Mathews
    Owner of DeCo Architectural Window Tint & Design, Ltd.
    http://www.decotinting.com

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