Archive for Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Our view: Businesses deserve recognition for work

July 2, 2003

Last Thursday, about 120 people gathered at the Leavenworth Country Club to pay tribute to businesses in Leavenworth County.

And while some might think the gathering -- mostly of business owners and managers -- was self-serving, it was not. It's appropriate that business owners, as well as all residents of Leavenworth County recognize those companies that contribute to the area.

Take, as an example, Himpel Lumber, which is owned by Charlie and Sheri Ussery.

The business, just south of downtown Tonganoxie, had a choice: Stay the same and get run over by the competition or expand with the hope of sticking around for the long haul. With the building boom in Southern Leavenworth County, the demands for lumber and other construction supplies is increasing. With a larger building and more inventory, Himpel Lumber is better-prepared now than ever before to meet those demands.

As sales at the company have increased, so has Himpel's ability to hire additional people. More people employed means fewer people looking for work in the county.

And so it goes with other businesses.

As companies grow, the opportunities for Leavenworth County residents increase.

Obviously, more businesses and expanded existing businesses mean more goods and services available to county residents. But they also mean more jobs. They mean fewer people leaving the county to work in Wyandotte, Douglas or Johnson County. And they mean more tax dollars flowing into city and county coffers.

So while a luncheon at which members of the business community applaud one another and give one another plaques documenting their achievements may seem a little odd at first glance, after a closer look, one wonders why Leavenworth Area Development and the county's chambers of commerce only do this once a year. It seems logical -- if the county's growth continues at the pace of the past four years or so -- that the luncheon will get longer or the event will be held more often.

Those business owners and other individuals who were recognized last week also deserve a pat on the back from those outside the county's business community. Congratulations.

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