Recruiting business to local small towns

Published 10:47 am Monday, November 16, 2015

According to Par 5 Development Group, construction will begin on a brand new 9,100-square-foot Dollar General store around January in Drakes Branch.

For residents of the town, this is a milestone that could potentially aid in attracting other businesses to the area.

Over the years, Drakes Branch residents have voiced their concerns about the decline in the town’s economic development and job loss. Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks could be recruiting businesses to operate in a small community with a population of 530 people, according to the 2010 census. said “define your problems in the light of what would be needed for a total solution. You will need to take into consideration all factors of a community including infrastructure, workforce, education level, available industrial and business sites, competition, political situation, lifestyle, and so forth.”

Most urban areas appeal to big businesses based on the opportunity for growth and readily available resources. However, small towns such as Drakes Branch offer some positives in spite of their small size. said small towns have an advantage over big cities due to less congestion and a better quality of life.

Businesses could potentially be attracted to a town like Drakes Branch because there is not a high level of competition among businesses.

Since 2009, Par 5 Development Group has built over 70 Dollar General Stores throughout Virginia and North Carolina.

“From appearance to environmentally sound stormwater practices, we aim to deliver a building that not only the town, but also the neighborhood in which we have built it, are satisfied and delighted to have the Dollar General as a place to shop,” said Par 5. Currently, Charlotte Court House and Keysville both have Dollar General Stores in town.

For residents of Drakes Branch, a local Dollar General could potentially save the time and money it costs to travel to other residents towns in the county.

A book by Milton C. Lauenstein, “What’s Your Game Plan: Creating Business Strategies that Work,” said Dollar General Stores are known to target small towns with great success. However, they are not the only retail chain that caters to small towns.

The implementation of the new business will undoubtedly increase traffic in the area, thus raising the potential for other retailers to take notice of the locality.

Like Moliere once said, “the trees that are slow to grow, bear the best fruit.”

Italia Gregory is a staff reporter for The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at