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We need local stores

March 4, 2011 - Jodelle Greiner
There have been a lot of comments in our online edition — yes, we read them — about spending your money in town versus going to Mankato. Some argue that higher prices in a small town are worth it to support the stores here and others say they will continue to go to Mankato for the lower prices.

There’s one thing that I haven’t read in any of the comments: that we need these stores here so people who can’t drive out of town have somewhere to shop.

I do a lot of driving out of town for my job. I can’t say it thrills me to have to drive to Blue Earth or Winnebago when it’s icy and blowing, but it’s what I’ve got to do. I know a lot of other people do the same thing for their jobs. But the last thing I want to do is head out on those slippery roads if I don’t have to.

I can’t remember the last time I went shopping out of town. I admit I do head up to Mankato to stores we don’t have down here, but when it’s bad out, I prefer to shop here.

It was snowing one recent morning and I needed to go to the post office and I also wanted to pick up some groceries. It wasn’t worth the work to clear off my car and the plows hadn’t cleared the streets anyway, so I left my car at home and walked to the post office, knowing I could just step across the parking lot to Fareway to pick up a few groceries I could carry home. That’s a very convenient location for folks who have to visit the post office or mall, anyway.

What would we do if every time we needed something, we HAD to drive to Mankato? What about people who don’t like driving on slick roads or who don’t have the time to make a grocery run north because of work and kid schedules? What about the elderly who may still be able to get around town fine, but really shouldn’t be driving at higher speeds on bad roads?

Small town stores are not just a source of pride for the locals, they are necessary.


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