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Marion discusses mystery business

Staff writer

The mystery business discussion Hillsboro City Council has been having for two months spilled over to Marion City Council on Tuesday as city leaders discussed what the business would do to existing Marion businesses.

“I’ve heard a lot of doom and gloom,” council member Jerry Dieter said. “I think it will have an impact on our city and our business people have to be clever and offer services they don’t.”

Economic director Terry Jones, who said he is against the business, argued that the business would hurt small businesses because they can’t compete on price.

“The people I’m worried about are the ones that want to save a quick buck,” he said. “How we educate people is how we’re going to survive.”

City administrator Roger Holter cited his background from working in big box stores as the basis for his views on the mystery business.

“It’s coming and there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “We have to help our businesses figure out what services and things make them stand out.”

Even if the business comes to Hillsboro, it will bring sales tax, jobs, income, and other money streams into the county, Holter said. Holter believes that people in the county who travel to shop at WalMart will just stay more local.

“Businesses that get better at what they do and decide to win will,” he said. “Those who think they’re entitled to the business will falter. There is nothing wrong with a little competition that brings businesses to their A game.”

Holter, Jones, and Marion Advancement Campaign are working on a “shop local” program to help spread the word about different services available through existing businesses.

“We have to focus on the positives because we’re not going to have a say in whether the business is coming,” council member Chad Adkins said.

Last modified Sept. 4, 2014

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