Much of the city is abuzz about Walmart’s grand opening, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 23. Construction of a distribution center for Amazon.com Inc. is also bustling on the west side of town, despite delays.
We welcome the arrival of these companies and hope they become integral parts of the community. Walmart has already made a first-step good-faith effort in that regard by donating $8,000 in grants to local nonprofits.
In the meantime, many of the city’s established businesses are undergoing seismic shifts and deserve this community’s attention.
The local Yancey Lumber yard changed hands this month after nearly 103 years in business, and the processing equipment used at the former Patterson Frozen Foods and Patterson Vegetable Co. plant is slated to be sold next week.
In the case of Yancey, it’s refreshing to see that a new owner has taken over the business and that the staff at the renamed Patterson Lumber will remain largely the same.
The closure of Patterson Vegetable Co. last year, which started as Patterson Frozen Foods in 1946, remains a poignant reminder that the city needs to do all it can to support the companies that have built this community’s legacy.
The Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce has done its part by working with the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance to host workshops on how small businesses can survive and thrive by finding their niche.
The Alliance Small Business Development Center is also hosting workshops at Hammon Senior Center to help companies tackle a variety of issues, from business plans to capital investment. Local business people would be wise to take advantage of these free informational events.
In the meantime, Mayor Luis Molina should be commended for his desire to host a town hall meeting on the condition of Patterson’s downtown. It should receive lots of community support.
After all, it’s easy to get excited about large corporations setting up shop here in Patterson, and they no doubt need all the support they can get.
But smaller businesses and many of Patterson’s established companies have an incredibly important role to play, too, and depend on our support to stay alive.