Local business deserves liquor license over incoming franchise

Christa Leuning

I was speaking with a friend of mine one night and we got onto the subject of how local businesses seem to be dying in small towns.  She used the main street in her town as an example, saying stores are constantly closing because people go to a bigger towns and bigger stores to get the items that they need. While this seems to be happening all over the state and all over the country, I am focusing on the lovely town in which I have lived my entire life and how much it is expanding.

I have lived in Brookings for all of my 27 years and for the most part I have accepted the changes in my town. I agree that new businesses make our town more appealing to incoming college students. With that comes the possibility that they may want to stay in Brookings and raise a family here.

A new business opening in Brookings was denied a liquor license by the Brookings City Council so that a well-known franchise could be established.

I disagree with this because I believe in the small, local business and because I would like to have a place in town to drink where I can have a conversation with others. Both owners of the small business that deserved the license are residents of Brookings and native South Dakotans. One is a graduate of SDSU. The service that a locally owned business would provide would be excellent as opposed to a place where a person could go for the less-than-quality service of a chain store.

Brookings would rather give a big business the liquor license over giving a small business the license. The City Council thinks the larger business would be a popular place for students and area residents to spend their time and money, generating more revenue for the city.

It has recently come to my attention that the city council is possibly giving the license to both businesses, though the liquor license should have been given to the small business in the first place.

I believe in small businesses and support them whenever possible, but understand that is not always a possibility. This town could use more stores so there is not a possibility of creating a monopoly, like Walmart has essentially done. I value small business and believe that as long as people support them, they are sustainable, even in a town as small as Brookings.