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Those asking for charity should patronize first

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As my fellow retailers know, we are asked, almost on a daily basis, to contribute money or merchandise to a wide array of organiza-tions and individual causes. A couple of years ago I designed a donation form that outlined the types of projects and organ-izations we felt we could afford to support. One of the primary filters was if that cause or organization in turn supported our business. I am amazed, and frankly it is disconcerting, that many people and organizations that ask for our support don't support us in return -- especially since we are a locally owned business. It certainly isn't the only criteria for our local support but it does play a role.

With that in mind, I asked myself -when was the last time I said thank you to the civic and charitable organizations who organize local events that bring me business? In just the last two weeks literally thousands of people were brought to our community in response to the Dragon Boat Races and the All-School Reunion. As a result, many local businesses, including mine, had a nice "bump" in sales. This results in more local sales taxes being generated, more people returning to our community in the future, as well as the ability for us to donate to more causes and yes, even earn a little profit. So thanks from a grateful business person to the Chamber and Rotary and All-School Reunion Committee and anyone else who worked or work on these or the many other events that bring folks to Bemidji.

Ken Howe

Dunn Bros Coffee

Bemidji

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