Letters (Aug. 27, 2014)

Competition has positives, too

This is a free country. Banks, schools, beauty shops, car dealers, insurance companies, day-care centers, real estate agents, churches, dentists?all have competition.

Do you buy all your appliances in town? Do you go out of town to eat? Do you come right home, or do you do some shopping while you are there?

If a new business comes to town, it creates employment revenue. Let?s think of the positive aspect of things rather than dwell only on the negative. People from other towns will come to Hillsboro to shop.

Velda Hiebert

Hillsboro

Recent letter was a wake-up call for us

After reading Kevin Suderman?s well-written letter, ?We make or break local businesses? (Aug. 20), I couldn?t help but respond with a big amen.

I must confess?I?m guilty of shopping out of town when I should have supported our local businesses.

It would be a tragedy to have to go out of town for the times needed on the spur of the moment, neither could our local businesses keep their doors open for just that.

Thanks to the Hillsboro business community for the fine stores we have. I am grateful for you; I pledge my support.

LeOra Grunau

Hillsboro

Wal-Mart?s goal is well documented

I?m not about to tell you that I never shop at big retail stores out of town. I can tell you I really hate it. But, I?d be lying if I said my kids and I never ?make a day of it,? shopping in Wichita and hitting sales at Target, Kohl?s, Gordman?s, and yes,Wal-Mart.

Shopping is a social event for families like ours, so I?d be lying if I said we absolutely refuse to ever shop at a big chain retailer. But I can tell you that we try to shop on a regular basis at home. If I can find it here, I will buy it here.

I?m a small business owner myself, and appreciate local clients calling me first instead of looking for a similar service in larger communities?even when they know I may not be able to offer everything a larger business might be able to offer.

And, as mentioned in a letter to the editor last week, I can usually get what I want from a local store owner if I just ask.

However, have you ever stopped to consider where you would shop if local grocers and hardware stores have no choice but to close up shop? Do you think maybe, just maybe, Wal-Mart has stopped to consider this?

There are roughly 12,000 residents in our little corner of the world (Marion County). Why on earth would a big store like Wal-Mart want to put in a competing store? Honestly, how much money could they possibly make here? They have to know there?s a very good chance they?ll fail, right?

And why build a store here that?s not only doomed to fail but will take established, beloved, local mom-and-pop retailers with it?

Maybe Wal-Mart corporate knows that if they don?t make enough profit to remain open?can you say, ?tax write-off???it will have been worth it. Because, let’s face it: with fewer (if any) local retailers left in our little community, where would we all have to shop? Well, lookie there! They just happen to have two super stores just a half-hour drive away. Lucky us! (Tongue in cheek, of course.)

Make no mistake, my friends: Wal-Mart would like nothing better than to see us have no other choice but patronize their ?super? centers.

It?s all about the almighty dollar with them. They don?t care if they create jobs in or around our little county. They don?t care who they put out of business. Doubt it? I urge you to go on Netflix and find the documentary, ?The High Cost of Low Prices.? It?s an eye-opener, to say the least.

And about that whole ?creating jobs? thing. An article published in the March 2013 issue of Forbes Magazine, titled ?Of Course Wal-Mart Destroys Retail Jobs: That?s The Darn Point Of It All,? the author quotes from a study published in 2008 in the Journal of Urban Economics. After examining about 3,000 Wal-Mart store openings, the study found that each store caused a net decline of about 150 jobs?as competing retailers downsized and closed?and lowered total wages paid to retail workers.

The article went on to state that the rise and fall of employment opportunities is just the nature of things in a capitalistic society, and that we thrive on competition in the world of commerce.

Maybe, but the sacrifice seems too great to me.

I know we can?t control what big business does, but we certainly can choose where we shop and whom we?ll support with our checkbooks.

Don?t let big business turn one more sweet, quaint, charming little community into a ghost town. Let?s educate our new Tabor College students who are visiting with us, and perhaps have never been made aware of the benefit of supporting local small businesses.

Sign the petition at the Free Press office and make the commitment to be a good neighbor to local businesses.

Lisa Schafer, owner

L&L Cleaning

Durham

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