Hi Roy!  What is nine times six?

This was the start of a conversation that took place many years ago at the prescription counter of the original Clingman Pharmacy in Galena, Illinois.  I was in high school at the time and often found myself listening to dad and his long time customers discussing that triple bogie on a par three or any number of other common interests.  I have also had the great fortune to enjoy many similar conversations here in Vinton.

After growing up in Galena behind the prescription counter of dad’s store and then having the opportunity to carry on that tradition for the past 26 years here I can tell you with great certainty that retail in a small market is not for everyone.  The opportunities for a fast return on your investment are rare and you really have to watch your inventory and expenses.  The big thing, however, about small town retail that gets me up in the morning with a sense of hope and anticipation is feeling like you can make a difference.  Whether it is through the products and services you provide at the store or the services and support you provide to the community you can make a tremendous difference in a small town.

As I think about the Vinton business community of today and in the past it is easy for me to recall the many and varied passions that each business has taken ownership of to help the community of Vinton.  Many have been big supporters of the Vinton-Shellsburg School District by supporting things such as scholarships to graduating seniors, the Viking/Vikette Booster Club, the Fine Arts Century Club and more.  In addition to this they have helped the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department create one of the best park systems in the state.  Virginia Gay Hospital is another Vinton gem that has collaborated with many Vinton area businesses over the years.  Of course it has been a win-win for many businesses who have been able to tap into the talent of Vinton residents to help run their operations and provide local jobs.

The holiday season can be an incredibly important part of the year for area retailers.  Every year they take their best guess at what is going to sell and stock their shelves accordingly.  This year I would encourage you think about shopping and saving with a little different perspective.  Your savings can of course be your own time and gas, but in addition to this you are also saving jobs, community support and the ability of our local business district to continue to lead and serve our great town of Vinton.

Happy Holidays!!
Jon Clingman, Vinton Unlimited Board Member