Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Props to Lightning Food Mart's half-century in business.

This article is a good illustration of the qualities that independently-owned local small businesses exhibit when surviving over the long haul. They adapt to changing markets, find undervalued niches, and provide great service. Obviously, Lightning has been doing these things right.

Lightning strikes twice in New Albany, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune)

When Tammy and Bob Wolford decided to move Lightning Food Mart across Charlestown Road from the spot it had been located since 1962, they knew it would be a gamble.

But risk and reward are concepts convenience stores are built upon. Ranked as the top selling lottery store in Southern Indiana, Lightning Food Mart’s reputation for facilitating winners stretches from Floyds Knobs to Louisville.

At the risk of picking nits, one sentence is unsettling to me.

“One of the things I take the most pride in is we’re one of the only American-owned convenience stores left,” Wolford said.

Of course, I'm an advocate of "American-owned," so there is no disagreement there. However, why say "American-owned," when "independently-owned and operated" conveys the same meaning, without a reference to American, which in this context implies code language for "not owned by foreigners"?

It's just that words, language and ideas genuinely matter, but let's not stray too far from the central point: Independent local businesses are the economic backbone. Instead of subsidizing big-ticket, plaque-ready projects, shouldn't we be tending to our fundamental infrastructure as the best way to help independent local businesses compete on a level playing field?

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