Friday, April 06, 2007

Keeping the Hometown Grocery Store

Wimbledon, ND (population 237) impressed me when I toured and talked in the town a couple of years ago. I’ve subscribed to their monthly town newsletter ever since. This month they had an article on three other towns that have saved their hometown grocery stores.

I’d written earlier about how Wimbledon sold stock for $100/share to keep their grocery store in town.

Westhope, ND (population 533) had 50 investors/shoppers who each invested from $600 to $30,000 to provide low-cost financing to a grocer. The investors get $50 off of their grocery bill, hoping to repay the loan over a year.

Binford, ND (population 200) lost their grocery/hardware store to a fire in July, 2006. Local residents and school alumni donated $85,000 which was matched with government grants and loans to rebuild a 7,300 sf grocery store. An operator from a nearby town will open in the space by summer.

Truman, MN (population 1,259) had a 17 year-old high school senior step forward to re-open their closed grocery store. I’d blogged on this January 29, 2007. Community support for buying locally has been growing.

When someone tells you it can’t be done tell them about these small towns where local, committed, passionate people stepped forward and said, “If it is to be, it’s up to me!”

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