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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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