A Hint to the Wise

With all this election year talk about big business, small business, and, on occasion, everybody’s business, we turn our thoughts to what we all might do to improve our economy.  Whatever your political leanings, you will surely benefit from the advice provided to us by the Skidmore Standard’s November 18, 1898 edition.  True, there may be some bias in the Standard’s opinion of the proper solution, but it might be true that as the newspaper goes, so goes the local economy, and we could all benefit from a breaking of the “shell of selfishness” these days:

“A Hint to the Wise is Sufficient.”

Skidmore is a thrifty little town of about 600 souls, located in as good a section of country as can be found on the face of the earth.  Within its corporate limits are located 5 general merchandise stores, 3 drugs stores, 3 barber shops, 3 blacksmith shops, 2 banks, 2 hardware stores, 2 jewelers, 2 harness shops, 2 livery and feed barns, 1 confectionery and restaurant, 1 grocery store, 1 racket store, 1 mill, 1 elevator, 1 meat shop, 1 implement store, 1 hotel, 1 lumber yard, 1 feed exchange, and 1 newspaper, besides the doctors, mechanics, painters, dressmakers, lawyers, real estate and insurance agents, stock buyers, etc.  This list, no doubt, surprises the outside world who had conceived the idea from the advertising columns of the STANDARD that Skidmore was quite an insignificant place with but 3 or 4 business firms.  Since the business men of the town are so indifferent to their interests, our interests and the town’s interests as to let this false impression prevail, the STANDARD assumes the task of correcting it and placing the town at its proper rating.

A town without a newspaper is like an engine without water; and water will not boil without heat, neither can a newspaper live without the support of its home merchants and business men.

The STANDARD has never been given a fair trial test yet.  If you want to see us run, and run right, some of you fellows who have been depending on your neighbors advertising for your trade, come in and tank us up with a few good “ads,” apply a little fuel in the way of good hard cash when we come around with our little bills, clear the track, pull open the throttle and watch us go.  You will do us good and we will do you good.

When we ask you for support in the way of advertising, we are asking only for that which you should be glad of the opportunity to give.  We do not ask something for nothing: we give value received the same as the merchant who sells his goods over his counter.

Nine times out of ten when we ask these non advertising merchants for an “ad,” they will meet us with the query, “What good will it do me to advertise?  Everybody knows I am here.”  We do not know how widely known they are, but we do know they sit around in their places of business and allow the progressive merchants of neighboring towns to take trade from their very doors.  It isn’t because they haven’t the goods; it isn’t because other merchants sell cheaper.  Anyone who will stop and think for a moment, can readily see that the merchants of Maryville, for instance, whose expenses are incomparably greater, can not afford to sell at so small a profit as our home merchants.

All that Skidmore needs to give her an active, steady boom, is an awakening of the business men to their best interests, and a breaking of the shell of selfishness in which they have become encrusted.

Shall we have the boom?  The STANDARD is ready to do its part.

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