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Local stores and services need support

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

I am resentful and remorseful to watch our retail stores being forced to close. Kmart is gone, and now Kirlin’s Hallmark store at Northland Mall. One could fire a cannon right through Northland Mall and not hit anyone because there are so few shoppers.

I read an article in the Smithsonian magazine a couple of years ago about a small Wisconsin city that lost all its small retail stores solely because the “big box” stores came to town. I saw a story on TV recently about a small-town Iowa druggist who also had to close for the same reasons.

I like to purchase my goods and services from Sterling businesses for, in so doing, I enjoy the good feeling that I am helping the merchant and employees pay their bills. 

I wish some sort of tax could be levied against the “big box” stores to even the playing field between them and the small businesses. I’d also like the “big “box” stores to hire all the employees who, at Kmart and now Kirlin’s, have lost their jobs. 

I really believe we shoppers have a moral responsibility to buy our goods and services from “the little guy.” We might pay a little more, but that’s minor when compared to proprietors and employees losing their incomes.

Take a look at “big box” store wealth. Why make them richer at the expense of local people and community?

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