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The New York Times has a sad story about a single, family-owned store in San Luis, Colorado - R&R Market - that has been in the family since 1857. It is, in fact, "the oldest business in Colorado, built by descendants of Spanish conquistadors in the oldest town in the state." And now it "is in danger, at the edge of closing just as rural groceries from Maine to California face similar threats to their existence."

Excerpts that take both the macro and micro view:

"Across the country, mom-and-pop markets are among the most endangered of small-town businesses, with competition from corporations and the hurdles of timeworn infrastructure pricing owners out. In Minnesota, 14 percent of nonmetropolitan groceries have closed since 2000. In Kansas, more than 20 percent of rural markets have disappeared in the last decade. Iowa lost half of its groceries between 1995 and 2005."

"In New York or Los Angeles, the loss of a favorite establishment is an event to be mourned. But in this ranch town, where the closest reliably stocked market is 40 miles away, the threat to R&R Market raises questions about the community’s very survival."

The story notes that the owners, Felix and Claudia Romero, "have worked in this shop seven days a week for 48 years, doling out bread and tamal flour, diapers and fishing rods, medicines and ranch tools."

Now, they have discovered that trying to find "a buyer at a time when owning the local grocery is a high-risk endeavor, and when President Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 calls for billions of dollars in cuts to aid for rural America, including programs like food stamps and business loans that help small groceries."

Interesting story ... and a little depressing. You can read it here.
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