I don’t care what they say in California or Texas, the economy hasn’t gotten much better. Here, in Central Michigan we work very hard each and every day just to try to keep food on the table.
It isn’t much different if you own your own business. As a newspaper we call on the majority of business owners in Clare County, to try to sell them advertising, so that their enterprise gets more customers. It’s been tough sledding lately because a lot of people in our County have cut back on what they spend.
I’m here to encourage you to keep what little money you have here in Mid-Michigan. I’m here to ask you to spend your money with the merchants that live here and take pride in the area. These are the people, in the long term, that are going to improve the economy and make life better for you and your family.
It aggravates me when I hear people talking about spending their money out-of-the-area, or online. They think they can get merchandise cheaper, but they don’t realize the difficulty in getting that merchandise serviced. AND they certainly don’t take in to account the quality compared to what they can buy locally.
Just recently two new big box stores have opened in Clare. Shopko has taken over the old Pamida store on Mission and Family Farm and Home is locating in the former Glen’s Market, now Valuland, building. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new business, but in these cases, the dollars paid for merchandise does not stay in the area. It goes to their headquarters- in the case of Shopko, that’s Wisconsin, where Shopko does over $10 billion a year. Family Farm and Home is closer to home. With headquarters in Muskegon, they have 20 stores scattered through Michigan and Indiana.
I don’t mean to pick on either. They both have been able to expand in this lousy economic environment. I simply do not want them to succeed at the expense of our local businesses- you know, the wife or husband who have dumped their life savings into the little downtown shop in Clare, Farwell or Harrison, and has a hard time competing with the out-of-town big box store because they are fueled by venture capitalists and can buy merchandise in bulk.
I strongly urge you spend your hard-earned dollars with your friends and neighbors. They are the people that will be there when the going gets tough. They are the merchants that will sacrifice everything to see that your needs are serviced.
If you need help deciding who some of these merchants might be, refer to this newspaper. A good number of them advertise with us, because again we are local. Our office is in Clare, our roots are in Farwell and our home is in Harrison. Please take a second look before you decide to drive out of the area to shop. There are so many great choices here in Mid-Michigan.