Competition in the business world is generally regarded as a good thing, at least from the consumer point of view. But it can be hard on locally owned businesses in small towns that have to go head-to-head against national retailers — especially in today’s tough economy.
That was the message some local business owners gave to the Macclenny City Commission last week as the five-member board discussed a proposed rezoning to pave the way for a new Tractor Supply Co. store in space formerly occupied by Food Lion in the Cornerstone Shopping Center on South 6th Street.
Local merchants said they ordinarily support free enterprise and competition but were concerned, nonetheless, about the potential impact a Tractor Supply outlet would have on their businesses.
“It’s going to greatly, greatly affect the little Mom & Pop stores out here,” Steve Williams, owner of Cycle & Marine Inc. on South Lowder Street, told commissioners at a board meeting on the evening of September 11. “We’re already struggling.”