"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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One Moment, Please... Small box vs. small business


Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Did you partake in Small Business Saturday and support your locally owned businesses while getting some great deals on gifts for Christmas? I sure hope so.

You’ll see an ad that we publish in our newspaper on a regular basis, and here’s what it states:

“When you buy from a mom or pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college. Our customers are our shareholders and they are the ones we strive to make happy. Thank you for supporting small businesses!”

We publish this every week to make a statement.

For many years, we’ve heard of “Big Box” stores like Best Buy, Target, Menard’s, Fleet Farm, and Walmart running small businesses into the ground. If you walk into any locally owned business in Rochester and ask them if the big box stores impact their business, I am confident you will hear a resounding “yes”.

Well, in recent years, a new breed of “small box stores” have been popping up in rural areas like Preston, Spring Valley and Rushford. Preston and Rushford recently gained Family Dollar stores, and ALCO Stores Inc. has occupied a space in Spring Valley for a number of years. These small box stores are without a doubt competing with local merchants.

Times are changing. In the wake of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ALCO Stores Inc. is now closing 198 stores in 23 states, and 11 of those stores are located in Minnesota.

While the recent announcement of the ALCO Stores Inc. closing their location in Spring Valley has created a lot of conversation and concern among some area residents, I have to ask a few critical questions. How many businesses were affected when ALCO opened their doors in Spring Valley? How many local businesses went under because they couldn’t compete on price with certain products? How many people lost jobs at other businesses that couldn’t sustain?

When any new business opens and they sell similar products and services as other businesses, the consumer pie of market share is split yet again. Just because another restaurant opens in one of our towns doesn’t mean that people eat more. No, instead they eat at the new restaurant some times while also supporting the pre-existing restaurants from time to time. Consumers don .....
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One Moment, Please... Turkey Day Run was no gravy train

Mon, Dec 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

The sixth annual Fillmore County Turkey Day run, this year, was not for the casual weekend warrior. This was the coldest Thanksgiving Day on record, hence it was the coldest event in the short history of our run. At the start of the run, the temp ..... 
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What lies ahead

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Dec 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections over the past few weeks, you’d think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country. In reality, they were just a curtain-raiser. It’s the next few weeks an ..... 
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Thanks and giving

Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

This time of year, there is one thing on many of our minds: food. Here at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), we are especially interested in food, as we just wrapped up the first annual FEAST Festival and Tradeshow in Rochester in ea ..... 
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The Six Amendments

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In 1787, 55 delegates from 13 states gathered in Philadelphia and framed what became the Constitution of the United States. When the Constitution was written, compromises were made that were certain to require change in the future. Slaves were incl ..... 
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Depredation tags

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Ah, it’s finally deer season! A time of year thousands of us live for and dream about for the other 11 months of the year. Here in South East Minnesota we are blessed with a healthy deer herd. But not everyone here is in love with this beautifu ..... 
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Viewing political corruption more broadly

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Earlier this year, veteran political writer Thomas Edsall reported an eyebrow-raising fact about Americans’ views toward government. Polling by Gallup, he noted, found that the proportion of Americans who believed that corruption is “widesprea ..... 
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Tin can cranberries

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in Mabel Commentary

Thanksgiving was always a big holiday for my family. As a group of seven surviving against the odds as Bear fans raised in the heart of Packer country, family was of the utmost importance. We never really stayed in one place to become established thr ..... 
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A clear message

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Nov 17th, 2014
Posted in Wykoff Commentary

Part 1 - In honor of our veterans “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few!” When Winston Churchill made this famous statement, he was talking about the costly but successful battle waged by the Royal Air ..... 
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