Thursday, December 23, 2010

After 15 Years, OutLoud Bookstore is Closing

Painting of Outloud Bookstore by Tony Teal
Ted Jensen and Kevin Medley, Founder and President of OutLoud Bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, have announced that OutLoud Bookstore will close after 15 years of serving the GLBT and progressive communities of Middle Tennessee and the larger Mid-South Region.

Over the years thousands of people of all ages have walked through the doors of their establishment into a safe space with the largest possible selection of affirming and informative books, music, movies, and gifts. OutLoud has hosted Book Clubs, given organizations a place to meet, sold tickets for nonprofit events, and even held community events at the store. The most popular event was the Community Tree-Lighting Celebration held each December. Because of the generosity of Ted and Kevin, OutLoud has given thousands of dollars to hundreds of local nonprofit groups.

Beginning the day after Christmas, Sunday, December 26, the staff of OutLoud will begin the process of liquidating all merchandise, furniture, fixtures and equipment from the store and old restaurant. It is expected that the sale will run through mid-to-late January. Everything Must Go! Everyone is encouraged to come see the store and staff before its too late!

The sales will continue until everything is gone! These are the Final Days! When everything is gone, the doors will close. Don't miss the opportunity because when the doors close there will simply be no more.

Thanks to All of Our Customers for 15 Great Years. We have have met many friends over the years, and you will always be cherished in our hearts. We hope that each of you have a wonderful life and continue, as we will, to fight for equal rights and justice for every human being. 

Factors  Involved in the Decision to Close

The greed of some in the banking industry continues to push interest rates so high that most small businesses can't afford them. Affordable credit is simply not available to most small business owners.

The inability of congress to pass meaningful legislation that would support small businesses.

The lack of interest in our own Tennessee State Legislature to make internet companies pay their fair share of of sales taxes gives out-of-state corporations an unfair sales advantage.

Supersized businesses like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Best Buy have unfair price advantages over locally-owned businesses.

Last year, Lambda Rising, the oldest GLBT bookstore in the country was one of over a dozen GLBT bookstores to close. Many GLBT distributors have also closed, and just recently Alyson Books, the largest GLBT book publisher,  announced that it would no longer print books at all.

David-Kidd Bookstore, another landmark in our City, announced that it's Nashville store would be closing.

In addition to the above factors, the health of Ted and Kevin has been another important issue. After 21 and 10 years (respectively) of living with HIV and other stress-related disorders, it is time for them to get back to nature, lead a simple life, and concentrate on healing themselves. The stress of owning a small business, especially in a time of great financial distress, is overwhelming. Closing the bookstore will definitely help in relieving the stress and moving toward better health.

What Can You Do?

Please support all locally-owned and operated businesses. We are the people who provide your friends and even family with jobs. We are the ones who pay all local and state taxes. We're the ones who support and contribute to local non-profit organizations every day.

Contact your US Representative and Senators and demand that they provide legislation that supports small businesses (Main Street, NOT Wall Street).

Contact your State Representative and Senator and ask them why they are giving unfair advantages to businesses on the internet by taxing local businesses and giving internet businesses a free ride.

Only do business with small local banks that are treating small businesses fairly and actually making loans to locally-owned and operated businesses at a fair interest rate.

Work toward Health Care for All People. Support HIV/AIDS Research and other nonprofits working to find cures for the many health problems and those who care for the sick and oppressed.

The Staff at OutLoud! Bookstore
1703 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37203