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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Efforts should be made to keep local store

Monday, February 18, 2002

The possible loss of Sikeston's KMart retail outlet is most certainly not welcome news. Hopefully those making the decision on the future of the KMart stores will reconsider Sikeston or perhaps the initial reports of the closing are inaccurate.

There may be little that city officials can do to sway company officials to keep the Sikeston store in operation. But that should not stop our efforts. Anytime a business is considering leaving our community we should take a proactive stand and make our case. That simply should be a function of the city and Chamber of Commerce.

At the same time our city must address those issues that bring this climate of stagnation. We talk about the subject enough but our actions often don't mirror our concerns. It's not anyone's fault - it's a collective combination of factors that stand in the background and hamper our efforts for growth.

You could easily make the case that now is the time for our community to spend more money on economic development projects. Competition for new businesses is keen throughout this region and it may well take more dollars to make our case. We must remain aggressive in attracting new industry as well as retail outlets to our community.

Sikeston's in a replacement economy right now. We lose one, we gain one. But growth comes when you lose one and gain two. To make that leap we must redouble our efforts. To do that requires putting the proper tools and resources in the hands of those who promote our community.

Communities thrive on revenue. Revenue comes from sales taxes and from new jobs. These two generators spread money throughout the community which is spread again and again. With no new jobs and limited retail growth we simply stand still. And as the old adage goes, if you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards.

Ask voters if they'd be willing to fund a five-year plan to rebuild our industrial and retail base. Ask voters if they'd be willing to help fund a reverse in our population decline. Any proposal that offers a hope to rekindle a community growth should be under consideration.

Communities who sit idly by and watch an erosion are doomed from their own apathy. I have greater faith in our community than that. And I believe others would be willing to do their part to help fuel a five-year program of growth and expansion. If I'm wrong, woe be to us.

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