SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Cost of Living in Ketchikan
By Terri Anderson


April 04, 2011

I have traveled around Alaska and yes you are correct about the cost of living in Ketchikan, I've seen the highest rents and utilities there, and the lowest amount of services for that money.

But I do have to come to defense of some of the businesses. I had a business in Ketchikan for 5 years. 75% of my inventory was $2.99 or less and struggled everyday I was there to survive. I had a good selection and fair prices, and it still didn't help. Yes, I had my loyal customers, but I barely touched the surface. I tried everything I volunteered a lot, and I mean a lot in town, I donated alot in town, I advertised a bunch too.

My conclusion was that people liked to complain about high prices, but not shop at the stores that had reasonable prices. When you have less sales, you have to up prices on merchandise to make a living. I loved serving the people of Ketchikan, but I was not going to go broke over it.

In 22 years, I never was hit up for donations like in Ketchikan. I was hit up nearly 2-3 a week, but 80% of the people hitting me up had never been in my store or didn't shop there. There are so many nonprofits in town, and sometimes I felt like everybody was expecting everything for free. You have to be able to pay your bills before you can donate.

My advice to people who don't like high prices is to shop at the stores that have reasonable prices and let them grow. If they grow then maybe they can afford to get into competition with the stores who have high prices. Do you know what that does, competition lowers prices. If you buy online or in the lower 48, you can kiss your money goodbye, because it does not stay in community. That means less jobs for your teenage kids, less money for donations towards the sports your teenage kids want to play, less money in the community period.

And for all the nonprofits in town, you should be only hitting up the businesses you do business with. So if you shop online, start hitting them up for donations, if you shop at Walmart that's were you should go. Don't go to businesses that you don't do business with, because they don't have the money to give you, they need to donate to the entities that shop with them.

Again, I loved Ketchikan and thank you to all the people who shopped with me, I appreciated every cent spent in my store. I had to make a choice Ketchikan - Own three businesses and a full time job to survive, or move to another town and own one business and survive. For health and sanity purposes I had to choose another town.

I guess what I'm saying is support the business you do have in town that are trying to provide you with a service or products at reasonable prices, because when I lived there I saw alot of these businesses close and the ones that you complain about get bigger.

Terri Anderson
Sitka , AK

About: " Proprieter for 22 Years in Alaska"

Received April 02, 2011 - Published April 04, 2011




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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska