Kudos to small business, Marion Fair

October 30, 2015

Mike Wilcox

Mike Wilcox

In this week’s Clare County REVIEW, you will find our Business Profiles special supplement, which tells of the great progress that is occurring every day in our Mid-Michigan business community. We as residents and homeowners, are very lucky to live in an area where small business owners work very hard to offer you their best products at affordable prices. I invite you to check out the section and to realize there are many reasons to shop locally including the following:

-Local businesses on a whole provide better service than big box stores. They tend to hire people with some knowledge of the products they are selling and usually give special attention to each patron they serve.

-Local business owners typically live in the community they serve and usually are very productive members of that community; belonging to community organizations and contributing financially to all sorts of community endeavors.

-Local businesses provide jobs for residents, and as a whole, are one of the largest employers nationwide.

-Local businesses anchor the neighborhood infrastructure and support the city and county tax base. Because they don’t outsource, dollars are recycled back in to the community. This adds value to the area by increasing its income.

-Local businesses find a need and fill it. Product selection is based on what the community wants, and not on a big box national sales plan. This provides the consumer a more interesting array of products and satisfies the unique needs of the area.

-Local businesses support non-profits at a higher rate than big businesses. They are more likely to give back to the community and encourage entrepreneurial growth.

There are certainly a boatload of other reasons as well. Personally, I see no reason to shop a big box store. Our small businesses have everything one would need at affordable prices and with superior service.

KUDOS to the Marion Fair Board for distributing over $37,000 to 4Hers who had their prized animals auctioned off at last July’s fair. With the law enforcement investigation in to the operation of the Fair which has resulted in the freezing of the Fair’s bank accounts, it was no small task.

The Board had to get a court order to utilize the funds in their bank account to pay the kids. However, they were successful and the exhibitors have finally been paid. That is step one, in my mind, in to cleaning up this public relations, and possibly criminal nightmare.

Actually, step one was adding new officers and board members. Newly elected president, Daryl Bode has been very forthcoming in providing information about the state of the Fair’s finances and their plans to move forward. The transparency is a welcome addition to a Board that in the past was unwilling to share any information with the press.

All this bodes well for the continuation of the Fair. A few weeks ago, I would have given the Fair a 50-50 chance of being held next year. Now I am pretty darn sure there will be a fair, thanks to the dedication of a small group of people who have stepped up to insure Marion’s biggest event will not be left in the dust.

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