Pawleys Island and the Waccamaw Neck attract visitors and residents because of their unique charms. Part of that is the way the ambience of earlier times survives on the Neck. There are many small businesses here that treat their employees and customers well because they care about them.
The Waccamaw Neck is a place where you can still have some input on the way things are done – even if it is only a customer reminding a local restaurant owner that if he doesn’t cut his grass and weed his landscaping, some will think he has gone out of business.
I am still pleasantly surprised how much our local businesses support local events and charities. This is a caring community. These are the things I will miss if a Wal-Mart comes to Pawleys Plaza and our dollars go out of state to Bentonville, Ark.
Does anyone still believe that Wal-Mart creates more jobs? Does anyone still believe that the county would take in more tax revenue than before? Let’s not be naive. Other communities across the country have lost jobs, wages and tax revenue after Wal-Mart came to their town.
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Everyone on the Georgetown County Council and the Georgetown Planning Commission can see what happened to Georgetown’s Front Street when Wal-Mart came to town. They are still struggling to recover. When Wal-Mart decided to upgrade to a Supercenter, they abandoned a shopping center that has struggled for years to recover.
Yes, we have a run-down Pawleys Plaza shopping center. If Wal-Mart comes in there, they would be a renter, not an owner. If that proposed big-box store does not meet Wal-Mart’s financial goals, they would leave as soon as their lease is up. They would leave more than one empty building; they would also leave our community without all the small businesses – hardware stores, pharmacies and groceries – businesses that paid a living wage to their employees, but could not compete with giant Wal-Mart.
Do not kid yourself that Wal-Mart is good for everyone. I cannot think of a worse store to come to our community on the Neck. Wake up!
The writer lives in Pawleys Island.