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A call for Sunday sales

Businesses, particularly restaurants and merchant shops, generally keep hours that range outside of the traditional 8 a.m.–5 p.m. time slot. These establishments rely heavily on foot traffic, needing patrons to be present in order to conduct business.

This simple principle can be a major factor in dictating the hours a locally-owned business keeps, but also presents challenges.

These establishments need to remain open when the majority of their customer base is not working and can visit, but also need to be profitable enough to justify paying employee salaries and other costs that come with later hours. A number of businesses in our area face this dilemma.

Closing in the early evening makes sense. The majority of these businesses have been open most of the day, usually opening around 10 am, and the owners and operators are deserving of a healthy work-life balance as much as anyone else.

In addition, for every extra hour a business stays open, costs increase. Owners have to be able to justify later hours with profitable margin, and some are understandably wary to risk later hours with no guarantee that revenue will match costs. However, this decision does limit the opportunities these businesses have to market their products to the community.

In addition, most businesses in our area are not open at all on Sundays, which is half of the weekend.

The reasoning for this is the same, these employees are deserving of a life outside of work and businesses have to feel confident they can consistently turn a profit when open.

The other side of this discussion, however, is businesses that do not open on Sunday and have never made an attempt are losing a prime opportunity for community members to patronize their locations.

On Sunday, there are more people looking for places to shop and eat than the rest of the week, barring Saturdays.

Local restaurants in particular have the possibility to increase profitability with Sunday hours. Not counting fast food establishments, there are very few eateries that open on Sundays, a day when many families like to gather for a good meal after church.

Currently the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce is making a push to shop, eat and stay locally.

For a small area like ours, businesses should take advantage of every available opportunity to bring in customers.

With places like LaGrange, Opelika and Auburn no more than half an hour away, if we cannot get it here, we’ll go somewhere else.