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Businesses Debate Proposed Walmart

February 20, 2012, 7:15 AM by Austin Hoffman
Updated: February 20, 2012, 9:52 AM

Businesses Debate Proposed Walmart
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The debate is heating up over a proposed Walmart in southeastern Sioux Falls. Many homeowners have voiced their opinions and now businesses are chiming in.

Walmart has submitted a proposal to the City of Sioux Falls to build on the corner of 69th Street and Cliff Avenue. While there are few businesses in that area, just up road, near the corner of 57th and Cliff, there are quite a few.

Eileen Goodwin owns the Liquor Mart near 57th Street and Cliff Avenue. She says a new Walmart just down the street could shut her down.

"When they can sell it for pennies above cost in order to get their business, you can’t compete with it; you can’t stay open; you can’t survive," Goodwin said.

She says the Hy-Vee across the street already gives her some stiff competition and she simply couldn't beat Walmart's prices. While she's happy it would create more jobs, she thinks it could also have the opposite affect.

"I think that's great; everybody needs jobs.  But I think it's going to eliminate a lot of jobs, too, at the same time because places won’t be able to stay open," Goodwin said.

Year Round Brown is just a few doors down from Liquor Mart.  Vice President Zach Neugebauer is looking forward to the possibility of having more people in the area.

"You know, from a business standpoint, I think there could be some benefits to us. Obviously, the more traffic driving by gives us more visibility for our business, draws more customers in.  So, I can see where that would be a benefit," Neugebauer said.

He says it can be tricky to get in and out of their parking lot right now and increased traffic could cause that to be even worse. But to him, the positives outweigh the negatives.

"Yeah, I think any future development and I think the employees of those businesses might come by our business after work and might use our services. So, the more people you have in this area, the more concentrated population, give us an opportunity to sell our goods and services to those people as well," Neugebauer said.

There has also been concern from residents in the area about the possible new Walmart hurting property value, increased traffic, and drainage issues.

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