Monday, June 13, 2011

Time to act

Like areas all over the country, LeFlore County has its problems.

Unemployment is high and thanks to the recession, the economy is not all that good.

One of the leading employers in our county, Bremner, has announced plans to lay off 135 people and there is speculation the plant will soon close its doors.

Most employers are trying to ride out the bad times and are not adding employees. When the workers do find jobs, they frequently require travel and do not pay what the person made in previous occupations.

Many people who would like to live and work in LeFlore County, have to relocate elsewhere to find a job, especially our college graduates.

Now, just like areas everywhere, the county tries to bring in new employers with a bunch of workers.

It would be great if we could bring in some company that hires several hundred people.

Those companies are few and far between.

So what is the solution? That would need to come from somebody far smarter than this publisher of a small web site.

But I do have some ideas.

The first one is to do everything possible to help our small employers, those with 10 or so workers to stay in business and hopefully grow.

I believe these types of companies are the key to our future. While still trying to bring in new companies, we can’t forget about these companies or businesses and must support them.

Also, I believe we need to support any start-up businesses. This includes one-person businesses and others who have a skill and dream about starting a business.

Every company has started off small and the successful ones grow and provide jobs and services to our residents.

I remember while growing up in Heavener that we had pretty much everything we needed. There were hardware stores, several grocery stores, lumber yard, toy stores and much more.

These were old family businesses that were successful, had employees and contributed to the sales tax for the town and county.

Now, those businesses are gone. Much of the blame goes to the Walmarts of the world, which can sell products for less than your local business. That has led to so many empty, boarded-up buildings in communities everywhere.

We can’t look for help from Oklahoma City. That is obvious. Just look at the recent Runestone fiasco. Everybody likes to point fingers, but this is not a Republican, Democrat, Tea Party or independent problem.

Toss the partisan politic crud aside. To move forward, we must work together and not worry about who votes for who or who supported who.

Everybody running for office always talks about bringing new jobs, lower taxes and paints a rosy picture for the future if he or she is elected. That doesn’t happen, of course.

We can’t sit on our tush and wait for somebody else to solve our problems. LeFlore County needs to capitalize on our resources and people. That means getting people to visit our county.

Desperate times require desperate actions. If you have suggestions on how to improve our county, please leave your comments below.

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