SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Vacant downtown
By Derek Flom


December 03, 2007
Monday AM

Greetings Sitnews Readers,

On a beautiful sunny fall / winter day in southeast Alaska I drove downtown. An empty downtown. Vacant buildings for rent and seasonal buildings closed for the season. I am used to the seasonal businesses, every town has them though not to our effect but they do have them of some sort. The most alarming aspect was the amount of "For Rent" signs in empty buildings.

Ketchikan's ghost town has nothing to do with the jewelry business but perhaps the lack of buy local support every small town in America needs to survive. I have talked with dozens of locals who want change downtown. Yet I have seen no one take up a business. I have seen no further support of some small businesses like the cool downtown internet café ( in the Mason building) or the other existing small businesses downtown that need year round support. Only the consumer can bring change.

I do work for the local Chevrolet dealer and I drive around and ponder on how people that ask for donations to their charities at our store can buy their vehicles down south?? All of the employees of Skinner Sales and Service live and shop in this town. We don't go down south to buy our groceries, to hire our contractors, to buy our lumber or hardware, to rent movies, to hire someone to fix our appliances. And our kids do not go to school in Seattle or attend after School activities there. Yet other so called local businesses in this town will go out of their way to NOT support those that support them, but to purchase not only out of town, but out of state. They do not get a better price on a vehicle, only the illusion, any deal advertised down south, we can match or beat and I am not on the sales staff. The part the gets me is soem folks don't even ask for a bid, they don't shop local. They ignore the 40 families in Ketchikan and 100 families in southeast Alaska and that's just our company not to mention Karlson Motors or Basic Transportation or the countless other businesses that operate in this town or in Southeast.

The point is - some folks don't even try and shop local. I`m not saying everyone has to drive a Skinner vehicle, or a Karlson vehicle, or a Basic Transportation vehicle but some consideration should be given to the families that live in and support this town and Alaska businesses.

Buy Local. Shop Local First. If you can find a better deal on anything and get it here and service it here please tell me and the readers of Sitnews. This is a great town and great place to live, let's support each other and all of the business we are all in together.

I will be doing all of my holiday shopping locally and I hope to see you all at one of our local vendors, stores, arts fairs, the mall, events or otherwise. Every dollar spent in Ketchikan changes hands at least seven times, so help seven families - SHOP LOCAL FIRST.

Derek Flom
Candidate for Borough Assembly 2008
Ketchikan, AK


Received December 03, 2007 - Published December 03, 2007


Related Viewpoint:


Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.

SitNews ©2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska