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Let's Build Our Future

January 29, 2016
Ashley Burkhartsmeier , Pierce County Tribune

I've been back to Rugby now two years. It honestly seems like I never left. I can not say enough how friendly the community is and welcoming. I'm not sure if this is the case for outsiders, but I hope it is!

One large difference I see is in businesses. Rugby is kind of in the middle when it comes to missing the boat - Fargo has the valley with it's rich land. We luckily (in my opinion) missed the oil boom. So how do we keep our little town, sustaining and possibly even growing? We have to support local businesses - more importantly businesses that we currently have before we lose them. You don't have to be old to remember that we use to have three drug stores, jewelry stores, clothing stores (oh how I miss Myhre's, Ben Franklin and JCPenney)! Where did they go? Did we not have enough money going in and out? Well of course not, gas was in expensive and everyone started traveling out of town to shop. At some point that takes a toll and businesses are but only forced to close their doors.

Yes, I admit there are things that I do buy out of town. The specific brand of jeans I love, along with my Born boots but for the most part I really have been able to buy everything in town I need. When I moved to Rugby, my first thought was that I was going to miss Target. (I know, pathetic) But it seemed I frequently stopped in of course seeming like I came out with loads of necessities. It was a couple of months ago I was traveling thru and thought oh I should stop at Target. The funny part was I had a tube of toothpaste in my cart! I walked around, realizing I needed absolutely NOTHING! How could this be? I buy my toilettes and cleaning supplies from the local Shopko. I knew my shelves at home were full of the necessities and all I could think of that was toothpaste!

The other reason we truly need to support our local businesses is they support us. Those same business owners shop and utilize the trades that you have to offer as well. I can't count too many business that don't have a Panther sign in their window that they sponsored. Local businesses are happy to put your benefit or event poster in their window. They do it with a smile and are truly happy to help. Those big box stores are not so helpful.

The few times I debate about shopping out of town for something, I think what if it comes damage then I have to make another trip to return it, plea with the "Customer Service" employee and convince them that the item came this way. No how much is gas and did I really save by going back and forth? Here in Rugby, more then likely unless you are a compulsive returner, businesses are going to help you out! Customer service is what allows small businesses to succeed - they need you to come back so they're going to treat you right so you do so!

I heard someone say they wish we had a Buffalo Wild Wings or a Panera here in town. Yeah, sounds great, let's get it here!! However, I don't think people understand that big name stores and restaurants are franchises and with that go very particular requirements. I at one time thought yes, I should open a Buffalo Wild Wings. Enough to look into it. HA! First to open a store you have to have liquid assets of $750,000 and a net worth of 1.5 million dollars. Not to say someone might want to invest that here in Rugby however, on top of that besides having an open corner lot, the town must have a population of a minimum of 40,000. Oh wait, 80% of that population has to be between the ages of 20 and 50. Oy my goodness! As far as Rugby goes, I can't imagine I'll see a Buffalo Wild Wings in my time.

But hey don't lose your will or want to open something! Small quaint no name places are the best! When you visit some town and you find that ma and pa shop that you can't stop thinking about those amazing wings and the service!! Don't forget they won't forget the service!

I just want to remind people why Rugby works. It's because it's hard work, long hours and we support each other! I thank the businesses that work hard to provide and bend over backwards to keep it going. I dare anyone to open a new business, we need more entrepreneurs. I just ask that you make it your own!

 
 

 

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