Ditch the "doom and gloom" about Warrensburg business climate

To the editor: With regards to the recent article in the Sept. 27 issue concerning the decreased revenue of business owners in Warrensburg, we would like to question why the other side of the coin was not explored. First of all, there are many more businesses in town that were not even touched upon that are holding their own, and still surviving several...for many years. Secondly, there are a few new businesses that have recently opened or will be opening very soon, which seems to be a prime example of believing in the positive aspects of what is going on in this town. Warrensburg isnt just a sleepy little town. We have a lot to offer here....bed & breakfasts, antique shops, restaurants, frame and gift shops, beauty salons, interior design services, florists, specialty shops, and a new fitness center, just to name a few. How about focusing on the positive side of the businesses that exist here? Instead of painting a picture of doom and gloom, how about the upside of this town and the people that make it survive, and work to make it a destination for those looking for something good and different and off the beaten path. Before you go judging the businesses in this town as a whole, you might want to interview more than just a smattering before coming to such a general and negative conclusion. This community and the people who live and/or work here believe in this town and want to see it keep growing in a positive manner. Sue Brenz and the staff at Riverside Gallery Warrensburg (Editors Note: We take great pride that each week, we do indeed show the positive side in our community whether its people or businesses with notable achievements. But its also our duty to report the news, objectively, comprehensively and accurately, whether the news is joyful or downright unpleasant. Noting a large number of business closures recently, we decided to conduct a survey to objectively report the sentiment among business owners. Our survey included 25 businesses in town, picked randomly, among the dozens along Main St. Two of the 25 reported increases in revenue this year compared to last year a bar and a liquor store. The others reported decreases, from steep declines to moderate. We were not passing judgement on the businesses, we were just examining the state of commerce in town, and our survey's outcome indicates that enterprises are facing a financial squeeze, with decreased revenues and increasing fuel costs. You asked us to interview businesses that were successful, and we have -- note the profiles of 13 businesses who are flourishing in the region in our Business Portraits of Success section in the same issue. We do highlight the positive. However, readers expect news too, analytical, accurate and fair. We believe the commerce article fairly represents a reasonable cross-section of businesses in town. Readers do not want their facts sugar-coated or skewed. Its interesting to note that we heard from two business owners/managers that objected to the financial-squeeze story, claiming it was negative yet they have experienced declines in sales and hiked costs. For decades, we have been avid supporters and cheerleaders of area enterprises. We wholly support buying locally, and we have been encouraging entrepreneurs to launch enterprises that provide needed jobs. Yes, as you imply, businesses in Warrensburg and surrounding communities are primarily vibrant, and innovative overall, offering high-quality wares and services. But they are also now facing an economic crunch, as all businesses are in the nation with special stresses on rural ones. Thanks for your input and observations.)

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