But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” – Matthew 12:25 NKJV
Over the course of my lifetime, I have witnessed the greatness of our community when it comes together. We are all familiar with the success of Minden’s St. Jude auction, but that is not the only example.
When there is a need, people in Minden step up, show up, and pony up. Unfortunately, Minden can be equally as divided.
Such division has seemingly taken root in our retail community. Different areas of town are increasingly pitted against one another. Downtown versus Homer Road is the most prevalent split, but I am sure there are others.
In a town of just 13,000 residents, anything but unity in the retail sector isn’t just beneficial, it is an absolute necessity.
Just imagine the competitors a home-owned retailer faces these days. Large retail chains and big box stores are now closer than ever. The speed limit on Interstate 20 makes a trip to Bossier City almost convenient. That close proximity has sent way too many shoppers out of town.
Online shopping has put also large dent into everyone’s retail revenues. Boxes from Amazon, Overstock, Groupon, and others are hitting front porches each and every day. Each box represents a missed sale for a local business.
With the increased collection of sales taxes from online retailers like Amazon continuing to take place, the guilt associated with spending dollars online is lessened. That means more dollars leaving Minden.
Do we really have the luxury of fighting amongst ourselves? Is it prudent to highlight one part of town over another? My GPS tells me that I can reach any given place in Minden in seven minutes or less. Any part of town is convenient for shopping.
The diversity of Minden’s retail community should be one of our greatest strengths. Different parts of town offer different opportunities, but they are all Minden, and that means something special.
Locally owned businesses all have their hearts and souls poured into this community — they sponsor events, sports teams, school groups, etc.
Even businesses that offer similar goods and services can reap the rewards of working together. Imagine Minden as if it were a shopping mall. Patrons visit many stores offering similar, or even identical, goods and services. While in competition with one another, the retailers in the mall all work together under one roof, and they benefit from it.
As we head into the holiday shopping season, I challenge our retailers to find common ground and work together. Minden can be a retail destination, not just for our own residents, but neighbors from Homer, Athens, Cotton Valley, and others.
There is enough business to go around, but only if we work together. There should be no Downtown Minden, Homer Road Minden, Shreveport Road Minden, Sibley Road Minden, East Union Minden, or any other Minden than the one we call home. A divided Minden cannot stand.