Local businesses often struggle; please support them

Even in the best of times, it can be challenging for owners of small businesses to thrive.

The problem can be particularly difficult in a small town when customer numbers often are limited, especially during the non-tourist season. Residents often have a limited discretionary income as well.

Nowadays, for whatever reason, businesses too are having a difficult time finding help, even if they offer above the minimum wage.

However, small businesses often offer goods and services unique to an area, and even if they cost more than those offered by franchises, it’s worth supporting them to keep local dollars local.

This is something to keep mind when you’re out shopping or just wanting a bite to eat.

Recent Facebook posts have drawn attention to the challenges facing these business owners.

The operators of Aloha Grill, located in the Masonic Center along Washington Street in Marquette, and its other business, Aloha Shave Ice, located along Third Street in Marquette, announced that although they have no regrets opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have decided to close.

They acknowledge the support received from the community, but still decided to make the difficult decision. Aloha Grill’s last day will be July 6 while Aloha Shave will continue its regular schedule and take part in community events through July 30.

In another Facebook post, Queen City Burger Company, located along U.S. 41 in Marquette, is pleading to the public for support.

The business acknowledges the bad economy and skyrocketing fuel prices, and has seen what it calls a “serious decline” in sales.

If this keeps up, it says, it will have to close.

“Every sale helps us to keep our doors open and our staff employed,” the post reads. “Without the support of our community we won’t make it and we need you now, more than ever.”

The Animal Inn, a kennel in Gwinn, said it plans to close at the end of this month, with lack of employee help named as the reason. There probably are more heartbreaking local business stories.

Although it’s likely not every business that opens in the area will survive, people can do their part to keep them going.

Imagine a downtown Marquette — or Houghton or Hancock — with no stores or shops. They would be far less vibrant places.

So, the next time you walk or drive by a small business, consider stopping in and making even a small purchase.

It will help not only the business but the entire community.


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