Letters and comments for October 20, 2011

By Observer Upload October 20, 2011 07:37 pm
Letters and comments for October 20, 2011

Street runs both ways

To the Editor:

Recently there has been advertising urging us to buy local and patronize local businesses. I am all for this in principle, but that is a street that runs both ways.

For a business to be supported, its patrons must also feel supported. Such support means having dependable, reasonable hours, and to have a selection of goods and services that the customer wants and needs. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve gone to a shop during what most would consider normal Monday-through-Friday business hours, only to find a “closed” sign.

I understand that family values and a more laid-back way of life in a small town should permit businesses to close on a weekend in order to allow staff to spend time with family or to participate in recreation and community events. However, some businesses close by mid-afternoon or on days that can never be anticipated.

Similarly, I’ve taken time off work a number of times to meet a tradesman at home for estimates or for work to be done. When an hour or more beyond the appointed time had come and gone, I’d call to find out where they were. Usually I was told that an unexpected problem or delay had occurred at another job. I understood that as well. Stuff happens. But, please afford me the courtesy of a brief phone call to let me know what’s going on.

Some businesses are great in that respect, but there are others who aren’t. Maybe they’re busy enough in a small town with not much competition that losing my “small potatoes” patronage doesn’t affect their bottom line.

Support me and I’ll support you. Until then, I’m forced to take my business where the hours, products and services meet my needs.

Richard T. Heinemann

La Grande

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