We are doomed without successful small businesses

Published 4:30 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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To the Editor:

“Young people just don’t want to work today.”

“All these jobs and people just don’t want to work anymore.”

As a young person in today’s America, let me tell you that neither of the above statements and their like are true. Young, old, whatever; people want to work. Businesses just don’t want to hire them.

I am 23 years old and have called every business I can think of, just to hear “no, we’re not hiring” or “not at this time” or “check our website for future opportunities”. All the excuses in the world boil down to one simple fact: jobs in this area are simply not available. If it so happens that there is a job opening, people swoop down on it like a pack of vultures and may the best man win. Then who knows how long it is before the same thing happens – lather, rinse, repeat?

If you’re my age and you don’t have a job, you’ve probably heard one of those statements I referenced above. And the person that said it probably held down a job they got when times were better and the economy was better and there were jobs galore. That just isn’t the case today, and it’s not like people can afford to retire, not under this administration.

Then there’s the small business issue. Consignment stores, boutiques, farmers’ markets. “Shop local! Shop local!” everyone cries, yet I’ve sat many a Saturday morning on Main Street in Murfreesboro, the former farmers’ market with fellow vendors, and nobody stops to look at our merchandise. You probably remember the Murfreesboro Farmers’ Market from a few years ago, when we were in the lot beside King’s Landing, and wonder where we went.

Well, it’s simple: we disbanded because the novelty wore off and nobody stopped to buy anything. It’s getting to that point again, us last two resilient vendors. This is what’s wrong with this area. This is why people are leaving and heading to cities. You can’t find a job, and you can’t get anywhere with small businesses. Why stay? It doesn’t matter if you want to stay in this area or not. You have to do what you have to do to survive.

So this is my question for you: will you continue to welcome with open arms the decline of rural North Carolina? Will you let the young people, the future of your towns, move away because there’s no hope or reason for them to stay and keep your towns alive?

As I said earlier, I’m 23 years old, and I’ve seen more businesses than there should be close their doors for these very reasons.

Will you secure the future of Murfreesboro? Ahoskie? Conway? Winton? Wherever it is you might be reading this? Or will you let it wither and die?

Grace Woodard