Published 7:16 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Closing will impact the entire county
Tuesday's announcement that the Atmore K-mart will be closing will bring a number of challenges to several Escambia County agencies.
This new closing means the loss of additional jobs in an area where jobs are already sorely needed. Escambia County, and the Atmore area particularly, has suffered much during this economic downturn. Now, more than ever, it is vital that local agencies work together to put Escambia Countians back to work.
As the primary retail store in Atmore, the loss of K-mart likely means a loss in tax revenues for the entire county. This could mean a drop in some county services and programs. Our county commissioners will need to plan ahead for a possible loss in sales tax earnings while practicing sound fiscal management to maintain the current services they provide.
The closing could mean more business for Brewton area businesses, but it is just as likely that these shoppers will choose to travel the same amount of time, across the county line into Baldwin to shop at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Bay Minette. Local retailers may recognize this as an opportunity to increase their own businesses by promoting themselves and the economic importance of shopping locally.
Some may feel that the closing of K-mart will only impact those in Atmore. In our view, this closing impacts us all. It is yet another reminder of how much work lies ahead of us in terms of job creation, government funding and economic growth.