Two weeks in a row now we’ve published articles about well-established businesses in the area trading hands. After 32 years, Morenci’s hardware store was sold. After 28 years, the golf course has new owners.
We wonder if people appreciate the enormity of the undertaking for the new owners—first in making the somewhat frightening decision, then in going through the process of financing, and finally to take the life-changing step of owning their own business.
Think about the Main Streets of Morenci and Fayette 20 and 30 years ago and it’s quickly obvious how the business climate has changed in most small towns. Take a step back 60 years to a time before the “big box” stores arrived and the changes are much more stark. Every small town had most everything a person needed.
Running a business today can be very challenging and business owners need continuing support from residents. Citizens of Morenci need to think back only a few years to remember the days without a grocery store.
We know of someone who mentally travels through the business district of Fayette, ticking off the businesses that could easily close over the next few years, either through the retirement of the owner or through changing circumstances and lack of support. The same thing could be done in any small town.
Business districts have changed dramatically over recent decades and they’ll continue to change. The purchase of a Fayette insurance agency last year and the sale of Morenci’s hardware show there’s still hope for the future of small towns, but local stores need our support in order to exist.