In these trying economic times, being a small business owner is more of a challenge than it has ever been.
While it will most likely take several months or even years for our nation and local economy to get out of this economic crisis, as a small business, we cannot afford to wait it out. We need the opportunity to grow our business now, which is why we are in support of a Supercenter in Lodi.
When opponents of the Supercenter project talk about Wal-Mart chasing out the little guys, they are not telling the truth. For the last four months, we have had the opportunity to grow our business by supplying the "Glow and Throw UFO" Illuminated Flying Disc to 12 area Wal-Mart stores from Modesto to Sacramento, including the Lodi store. Having my product sold at Wal-Mart has been an essential component of our business model.
The Glow and Throw UFO became a very hot item at the Wal-Mart stores, and just within three months we sold over 200 of them at the Lodi Wal-Mart store alone. I owe much of the product's success to being able to sell them at Wal-Mart stores. Stamos Enterprises LLC is a prime example of how a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Lodi can provide opportunities to smaller and locally owned businesses, contrary to what project opponents want you to believe. Wal-Mart supports thousands of local suppliers nationwide, including large and small suppliers like us right here in Lodi and throughout San Joaquin County.
In fact, since 2005, Wal-Mart has purchased more than $654 million in goods from San Joaquin County suppliers, which supports close to 13,000 local jobs. This is the type of growth that our city officials should be supporting because we need all of the extra revenue and jobs that we can get. The Lodi Shopping Center and Wal-Mart Supercenter will provide those opportunities, as well as encourage local companies to grow their operations. If they want it, Lodi businesses can reap the benefits of this national retailer opening a bigger store in Lodi.