Sunday, March 02, 2008

Experts Say Carroll Businesses Can Compete With Wal-Mart Supercenter

CARROLL, Iowa -- Iowa State University professor Kenneth Stone, a nationally regarded expert on Wal-Mart and the first academic to do serious studies on what is now the largest company in human history, says Carroll's existing business community is strong enough to adapt to the arrival of a Wal-Mart Supercenter Wednesday morning.

"I think taking a positive attitude is the best course," Stone said in a recent interview. "I have seen several towns take a very negative attitude. It's usually prompted by the grocers getting together or somebody that's really going to be hurt."

Added Stone, "The bottom line is there are many, many successful towns that have a Wal-Mart Supercenter and all the hysteria that went on about how bad it was going to be just didn't happen."

Jack Schultz, author of the book "Boomtown USA" and an evangelist for rural America, said he was in Pryor, Okla., several months ago and talked to people there about the arrival of a Supercenter.

"The Chamber president told me that sales in their downtown have increased with more people coming to town," Schultz said.

Here is Schultz in a recent post on his blog about rural America and small town development:

There is a life with Wal-Mart ... I see it over and over as I travel around the country. Generally, small towns appreciate their Wal-Marts and the most complaints are from towns that don't have one or that didn't allow one to build in their town years ago and today regret having let the big fish swim to a neighboring town.

Douglas Burns of Iowa Independent and Iowa Political Alert discusses some of the economic and cultural issues in Carroll, Iowa. The above is filmed at the historic Carroll Depot, home of the Chamber of Commerce.

Editor's Note: Jefferson is 30 miles east of Carroll. Burns misspeaks on this during the video.

Read the rest of this story at Iowa

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