Business Changes: Local businesses need support 2013.03.27

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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