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The sting of a business closing

shuttered store front, with “Closed” signs on the door and windows and nothing inside to see, doesn’t just mean another empty building. That is merely the visible wound.

In the case of Clark’s Pharmacy — which closed last week after nearly 30 years on Main Street — it means lost income to its employees, lost revenue to the town of Farmville and one less place for residents to shop downtown.

It is also indicative of a decades-long trend of locally owned and operated merchants being supplanted by national chains. Across Virginia and the rest of the country, “big box” stores have inexorably led to the closing of homegrown shops.

We appreciate the revenue and charitable giving the big stores generate for Farmville and surrounding communities.Yet, there is a nostalgic sense of loss when businesses like Clark’s close, whether due to economic pressure or retirement without someone to take the owner’s place. Longtime local restaurants give way to national brands, hardware stores that seemed like general stores shutter and corner grocers close their doors.

Farmville has fared better than most, it seems to us, and that’s a good thing. But it also means that, in order to take the sting out of a business closing, we all must do a better job of shopping local. Buy food from the Farmer’s Market. Find groups of local merchants who sell what you need. Eat at our fantastic restaurants.

The more we do that, the less we’ll mourn closings like Clark’s.