Here is the email I sent, I thought it was nice enough. Also I’m posting the two replies I got back along with the FOUR that didn’t feel a reply was necessary.
First, thank you for your time on reading this email. As you know the decision on Walmart is coming up and I hope that the council will take into consideration the local mom and pop stores this will effect. Stores that have been here for 30 plus years and have employees that have been there about as long in some cases. This decision falls on the Florence city council and I hope that you all will do the right thing. http://obscorner.blogspot.com/2011/12/game-on-florence-city-council.html is a blog that I do and I try to promote mom and pop stores because I believe they are the backbone of any community. Again, thank you for your time and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New year.
Now the replies,….
James Barnhart,… AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU
This reply will acknowledge your recent e-mail concerning the proposed Wal-Mart (Cloverdale/Cox Creek). Thank you.
No reply, Dick Jordan, Hermon Graham, Barry Morris, Andy Betterton. VOTE THEM OUT! They are failing on this issue showing no care whatsoever for established businesses. They are failing with the low head dam on Cypress Creek and the dump.
I've got to include this letter from magpie, who left it in comments. Some don't read the comment sections so I'm pasting it here... Great letter. Thanks for commenting.
As a concerned citizen, business-owner, and voter, I write to you in the hopes that you will please consider the many implications of adding a new Wal-Mart Supercenter to our community. If you have taken the time, as have I, to research the benefits that a new Wal-Mart store brings to a community, you are well aware that the list is very short. In your elected position, you have a responsibility greater than the average citizen to carefully consider factors other than the economic impact alone of recruiting and retaining quality retail options for local citizens. This proposed store stands to hurt our community in so many ways. Many studies have been undertaken to quantify the effect of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter on the local economy. Most have shown that while local economies do grow with the addition of these stores, certain markets are negatively affected, and most communities experience the law of decreasing returns after saturation of the market within five years of the store opening. Introducing a second Supercenter into our already saturated local economy promises to be disastrous to local businesses.
Attached to this email is a study of Mississippi Wal-Mart Supercenters in counties of population less than 100,000. A best guess population of Lauderdale County is 87,966. Reading and comprehending these local economic impacts is vital to your responsibility to local citizens. From this study:
Source (also attached): http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/faculty/stone/mssupercenterstudy.pdf
Many economists believe that analyzing a retail trade area is much like analyzing
a zero-sum game. Unless the population or incomes are growing substantially, there is a
fixed amount of money to be spent in the retail sector. If a large store is opened in the
trade area, it is going to capture a considerable amount of trade. That can only mean that,
in total, other merchants in the trade area will lose a comparable amount of trade (Blair
and Kumar, 1997). The results of this study are presented below and show strong
evidence that the gains for Wal-Mart supercenters were matched by corresponding losses
for existing businesses in the trade area...
A local government that aggressively promotes commercial development,
especially one that offers tax or other financial incentives to new comers, may
unwittingly help put smaller local merchants out of business because of massive
competition. Conversely, a local government that is strictly anti-growth may also do
harm to its local merchants as residents leave the community to shop in other towns
with big new stores. It is therefore recommended that local officials educate the
public on the economic impacts of commercial development and strive to create an
economic development policy that is consistent with the values and concerns of the
Please, today, take a couple hours out of your schedule and view the following documentary on Wal-Mart's negative business practices. It is your responsibility to make an informed decision regarding what is best for our community. The sacrifice of local business-owners who live here, go to church here, put their kids in public schools here, volunteer here, build homes here, hire local tradesmen here, and invest in improving this community is too high of a sacrifice for you to make.
Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns. They are real, and we are counting on you six individuals to save our local businesses.