A whole lot of nothing going on.

debViewpoint

Deb Hadachek – The Belleville Telescope
www.thebellevilletelescope.com

A few weeks ago when I was visiting with Cheri Cardi about her purchase of the Cuba Cash Store, she made a comment on how important every dollar of property and sales tax is to our county. That is an idea people often thoughtlessly stomp on when they offer off-hand critical comments about any local business, large or small. I was surprised when she told me how grateful she is for the help and support of Jim Crim, manager at Food Mart in Belleville.

That is an idea people often thoughtlessly stomp on when they offer off-hand critical comments about any local business, large or small. I was surprised when she told me how grateful she is for the help and support of Jim Crim, manager at Food Mart in Belleville.

We know competition and multiple choices in a community makes business better for everyone. But how rarely that cooperation is put into practice. How often do we see the public and businesses alike work together to keep businesses open?

Monday I met a traveler in Republic County here on a work-related matter who noted she needed to stop at Walmart in Concordia on her way home to pick up oranges.

“Why don’t you stop at Food Mart?” I asked. “You can buy oranges here?” she replied. She seemed surprised.

I explained that not only can you buy oranges (and a whole lot of other stuff) here, for some years now my husband, the Republic County FFA advisor, has purchased all of the fruit sold by students as a fundraiser from the local grocery stores. Why wouldn’t you check with the local businesses first when you need to make a purchase? Sadly, some people only walk in the door of a local store when they need a donation.

Later Monday I answered the phone at the Telescope and visited with a business owner who needed to place a “help wanted” ad.

“Good help is so hard to find,” she sighed. We hear that sentiment over and over, from Republic County to New York City. Our classified pages these days are mostly made up of help wanted ads, yet all you hear about nationally is the jobless rate. Not all jobs are lifelong careers, but I’ve always believed you can learn something valuable from any work you do.

The news that Pizza Hut closed unexpectedly last week shocked many people. I don’t know the specific reasons that led to its closing. But I am often surprised how quick people are to criticize “businesses only interested in profits.”

Yep. Businesses need profit to keep their doors open. The price you pay for a pizza or a widget or a tank of gas has to cover costs for employee wages, taxes and utilities. Businesses and restaurants make an upfront investment in inventory and hope that they will sell enough product to cover their line of credit at the bank. You hope at the end of the day there’s enough money to improve equipment or make repairs to buildings and HVAC systems, but that doesn’t always happen.

Republic County has been remarkably fortunate in recent years. We have many businesses in all communities that draw large numbers of “outside” county customers. Locals don’t always see that, because they’re too busy sitting at coffee shops complaining that there’s “nothing” here.