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Support local businesses



Published: Mon, August 2, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Support local businesses

Since 1987, I have owned and operated the Union Square Sparkle Market (at the corner of Belmont and Gypsy Lane in Youngstown). Due to economic conditions and competitive pressures, this store will close permanently in early August.

While nothing can be done to change my store’s fate, there are two groups whose future decisions might prevent the closing of other locally owned retail establishments — our government leaders and shoppers who live and work in the Mahoning Valley.

To our elected officials, I suggest that resources be redirected from attracting new businesses to retaining those already here. It’s likely that my store’s location will soon reopen, after being granted significant incentives, by new out-of-town owners. Sure, the newly branded store will employ local folks, but with a wage and benefit package inferior to Sparkle’s. And if that new store is profitable, those profits will leave the Valley for the bank accounts of its out-of-town owners.

And to those of us who live and work here, I implore you to think twice about where you spend your hard-earned dollars. Someone is going to profit from your purchase. That’s how business works. So before you buy, ask yourself, “where will the profits from my purchases go?” Will they head out of town? Or will they be spent and reinvested in our own community by a local owner?

Independent, locally owned businesses are the foundation of this economy. But without a sound foundation, no structure will remain standing for long.

Charles F. Zander, Youngstown

The writer is president of Sparkle Markets Association.


Comments

1AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Suck it up Chuck! You weren't concerned about local jobs when you and your cronies closed down Sparkle Markets in the '80's putting hundreds of employees out of work. Your actions opened the door for out-of-state grocers and now you are complaining?? You got what you deserved.

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2palbubba(664 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

In todays environment in case you hadn't noticed, there is very little loyalty to anything or anyone. To attract customers you must supply needed products of good quality at a reasonable price. They must be presented attractively and delivered in a friendly and courteous manner. Once you have gained a customer you must do all within your power to maintain them. Having shopped in your store I can assure you that there were many deficiencies in these areas.

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3commoncents(53 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Charlie is a sad case...like so many others. He was a small-town, small-minded, not very good businessman who went to sleep and when he woke up, the world had changed. He didn't know what to do nor how to compete.
Palbubba, you are right on! His store is a pitiful result of poor management and neglect. It's dirty, has poor selection and quality of products, and his employees act like they hate being there.
Sorry Charlie, the problem is you - not local government support or customer loyalty.

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