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By Tim O’Dell, Chili Dawg’s Foods of Fire

The other day I heard of yet another so called “Big Box” retail store going by the wayside. So many are either filing for reorganization, restructuring or simply going out of business. These retail stores, sadly some that we have grown up with, will be missed but it is truly a sign of the times.

And the malls that these stores anchored will also be hurt. This means there will be less customers to visit other smaller stores or to visit the food courts. This is all economics of the hurting kind. Less customers, less of a chance for revenue. Plain and simple.

The employees of these big box stores will also be affected. Losing a job that many of them had had for years is very tough to recover from. Searching for a new job is bad enough alone, but losing one’s pay check can be devastating. Many have families to take care of so you can see how the snowball effect is in play in this situation.

What is the cause of all this? Many attribute it to online shopping. In this busy age, it has become so convenient to buy so many things online that the time savings alone is worth a higher price if it means you can save the time to do something else. Deliveries are fast and if the item ordered is not right, it gets picked up as a return right at your front door.

When thinking of our small towns however, it is important to think of the small retailer living the dream and providing a product or service so much needed by the local community. They invest heavily in their brick and mortar location to provide consumers with a unique shopping experience. They offer things you might not be able to buy online or find in stores in that larger town miles away. These stores also employ neighbors who then have paychecks to take care of their families.

Small town retailers are creative, inventive and very industrious. They each have a talent of which to share with all they meet. They work hard and often are at their stores many hours after closing doing the books, restocking or what have you to ensure they offer the best for their clientele.

These small businesses are fun. The owners know and are known by the people they serve in their community. Wouldn’t it be sad to see these small town shops either file for reorganization, restructure or simply go out of business?

So the next time you sit down to order something online, or drive those many miles to that larger town or city, think of your small town stores and shops. If they have something to offer of which you are in need, stop in and say hi! It will be greatly appreciated.

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