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Three percent solution

June 9, 2008
Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series highlighting local businesses taking steps to help consumers stretch their dollar. The Daily Mining Gazette would like to hear from businesses who are interested in being a part of this series. Contact Mark Wilcox at

CALUMET — Ron Rea says he is tired of hearing about the cost of living going up.

“Everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it,” said Rea, owner of The Office Shop in downtown Calumet.

Starting next year, the shop will use a new pricing catalog that Rea said will offer the customer the best prices possible, including those found on the Internet.

“We’ll beat whatever price customers are paying right now on every item they need to run their business, from office supplies to breakroom and janitorial supplies, by three percent,” Rea said.

Additionally, the three percent discount is guaranteed through the end of 2009.

“No games, no gimmicks, just a way to help other businesses keep afloat,” Rea said.

More than 25,000 items are included in the catalog, he said.

Rea said although he’s a small business, he doesn’t keep that from thinking big. Seven years ago, he started a pre-pay copy paper system that helps large-order customers save money.

“The supplier can purchase the paper in semi-loads and the customer gets a great price,” he said.

Rea said as gas prices, food prices and utilities continue to escalate, Michigan’s economic climate is of primary concern to his customers.

“I’m a small local business in the Upper Peninsula making a stand,” he said. “I’m happy to lead the way to stop the insanity and I’m hoping other businesses will follow.”

Jane Nordberg can be reached at


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