Supporting small business benefits us

RCED will have a presentation for the Belleville City Council Monday, December 11th at 7:00 pm at the Belleville City Office. The stats below will be part of the presentation among other major program and project benefits to the county and City of Belleville.

Viewpoint / Deb Hadachek Editor

Every so often I go hunting for current statistics and tables churned out by various government agencies.

Numbers never lie, as some pundits insist.

Two of my favorite data sources are compiled by the Kansas Department of Revenue: Sales Tax Collections and the County Trade Pull Factor. Both are indicators of how Republic County fares economically:








For a number of years, Republic County has collected about $1 million in sales tax that stays locally (one percent to county/city governments for property tax relief, one percent for operations at Republic County Hospital). Some years a little more, some years a little less, but that number has stayed consistent for more than a decade.

A little more interesting to me is the County Trade Pull Factor, which is a balance of trade indicator. The number shows, based on population, how much business the county retains and attracts versus how many people leave to shop other places.

For the last five years, that number has been 70 percent or more, which indicates a number equal to more than two-thirds of the sales that can happen here, take place here. Many rural counties lose more than 50 percent of their trade.

More telling, however, is that in 2005, Republic County had a trade pull factor 58 percent. In the last dozen years or so, the numbers show the county has seen steady and sustained growth.

Several factors play into those numbers, I think, which aren’t so easily measured. One is the rebirth of Republic County Economic Development, and the nonstop, behind the scenes, work that Jenny Russell and Luke Mahin do to promote county businesses and to challenge county businesses to think beyond our borders. Over the last 10 years, the county has seen a growth in destination shopping venues across the county, and some of that business comes in particular to Agenda and Belleville and Scandia and Courtland specifically to shop at specialty stores.

Republic County has continued to support two strong, competitive grocery stores in Belleville and Cuba that eliminate the need for anyone to go out of county for food. Likewise, there are two strong, cutting-edge home and lumber stores in Belleville and Scandia that supply citizens’ needs for repairs and shelter.

In Republic County we should celebrate small businesses every day, and recognize that our business owners have created venues that we don’t support out of obligation, but because they are competitive, forward-thinking, cutting-edge entrepreneurs.


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