• Last modified 13 days ago (July 11, 2024)


Circling the food wagons

To the editor:

Mobile vendors come to a town for certain reasons. They offer a product that is not available there. They offer a product different from what is available there. They expect the people will buy it.

If people don’t buy it, they will not return. If successful, they will return and sometimes even set up as a full-time business.

Marion should be involved only with things related to the city, not competition among businesses.

City responsibilities include things such as safety, taxes, sanitation, noise, effects on traffic and pedestrian flow, state permits, health, lighting, etc. — not controlling competition.

What does distance have to do with anything? Why does a business have to get permission from another business?

The city supported Dollar General and Family Dollar / Dollar Tree even though they compete with other businesses.

Restaurants have opened in town even though there were others here already.

Why does being mobile require more control than another new business coming into town? It seems mobile vendors are businesses, too.

What about farmers selling produce on Saturdays? Some use city property. What about a lemonade stand? They are not brick and mortar.

If a mobile business takes sales from an existing business, that business should find out why people are buying the mobile business’s products and do something to get the business back.

That is called responding to competition. It may turn out that a lot of the people buying from a mobile business are not people who otherwise would buy from the existing business but instead are people who don’t care for its product.

If the city wants to get involved in business, let it do more to lure businesses into town and stay away from things that discourage them.

Again, the city should stay with city things and let business take care of competition.

Paul White
Marion County Lake

Last modified July 11, 2024