Concerned about store? Go, check it out
June 13, 2019
To The Eagle:
Let’s not let facts get in the way: I’ve been reading some comments on Facebook and in the local newspaper about how terrible a Dollar General Store opening in our county would be. It appears that there are major concerns that if this new retail store comes into our town, it will harm the existing businesses. Many people have said it's like Wal-Mart, and it will do the same thing to small towns. Many people leave our community to go to Wal-Mart.
One article in the local paper said to Google Dollar General and find out, so I did. I found hundreds of articles. I found all sides of this issue. The first page is all about Dollar General hiring, so I put in, "Is Dollar General bad for towns?" Several articles popped up about Dollar General and local business, then I put in, is Dollar General good for towns? Several articles said good things about the store. So I chose to do something different. I wanted to get some "Real Facts" and not let the Google crowd decide for me.
I thought I should find out first hand what other towns have done. That would be of more interest to me and our community. So I called the mayors of two small rural towns that are about the same size as ours to get their opinions on what a new Dollar General Store did for their community.
I called the mayor of Rainier, Jerry Cole, and he said many of their residents would drive over the bridge to Longview to go to Wal-Mart and while they were in Longview, they would continue to shop. However; now that Dollar General has come into their town, it stopped a lot of people from leaving Rainier. "Now that they’re not going to Longview they’re shopping more locally," Cole said. "Dollar General has been extremely helpful to their local businesses and local sales are up." Jerry said not only does it keep people in town, but it also provides new property tax, sales tax, and jobs. "Also the construction was done very professionally and they worked well with the town," he said.
I called the Mayor of Clatskanie, Bob Brajcich. He was not available, so I visited with the City Manager, Greg Hinkelman, about the Dollar General in their town. He assured me and said it was a great addition to their city. He could not say enough good things about the store. There was a concern that Dollar General would hurt Safeway and the pharmacy. Greg said, "However, it actually helped those stores because people did not leave town to buy their basic products that are reasonably priced and necessary. So because the local people did not leave, local sales are up. Also, new people came to their town to shop at Dollar General. The new taxes and the new jobs were welcomed in their community, Hinkelman said.
I asked each of these gentleman if I could quote them and they both said “absolutely.” They both said if anybody wanted more information people could call them and they would be happy to answer any questions.
If people don't leave our county, we keep more money here and we won't be using all the fossil fuel to travel to Longview and beyond.