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.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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