This PEW article made me remember that I always love finding a small, local market. Finding them is getting harder.
“There are six towns east of here — they just lost the grocery store, then they lost the gas station, and then they lost the bank and now they’re nothing.”
Some states are trying to tackle their rural grocery gaps. Supporters of such efforts point to tax incentives and subsidies at various levels of government that have enabled superstores to service larger areas and squeeze out local independent grocers. Now, dollar stores are opening in rural regions and offering items at lower prices, posing direct competition to local groceries.
Critics see that development as a threat to public health, since dollar stores typically lack quality meat and fresh produce.
But every town and every store is different, making statewide solutions elusive. Some legislators say they are reluctant to intervene too heavily because the market should close the gaps.
The market will close the gaps (or force people out of them). But, there’s the nostalgia issue. Can’t really recall the last little independent that I ventured into. I can easily think of a bunch that no longer exist.
The article rambles on into ag and tax policy, etc. In some areas I imagine not much will work at all. Way out in the country, it’s a mixed bag. Few people, few stores. Then again, out in the country is where the food grows. Garden? Chickens?