Our View: We Should be Aware of Effects of New Businesses

With the recent opening of Hobby Lobby in Kirksville, we, The Index Editorial Board, would like members of the Truman State University and Kirksville communities to pay attention to the different ways a large corporation like Hobby Lobby might positively and negatively impact the community.

Hobby Lobby — a well-known arts and crafts chain store — added about 35-50 jobs to the Kirksville community, according to an article by KTVO. Hobby Lobby has vowed to offer better wages than competitors to its workers — $15.70 per hour for full-time employees, and $10.45 per hour for part-time employees.

Opening this store allows many art students and frequent crafters to have another location for supplies that Gallery 104 might not have had. This means those seeking art supplies don’t have to get them online or in other cities, which keeps money circulating in Kirksville.

Despite the positives, one must consider what this economical addition means for small businesses and craft stores in town? How will Hobby Lobby impact places like Gallery 104? Can Kirksville sustain Hobby Lobby? Is there enough demand for a crafts and home decor store, or will it end up closing and becoming another vacant building?

In addition to the local logistics of Hobby Lobby coming to Kirksville, citizens might be questioning the past ethical practices of Hobby Lobby.

In the 2014 supreme court case, Burnwell vs. Hobby Lobby, the court sided with Hobby Lobby in a 5-4 decision. The ruling allowed the business to opt out of paying for contraception in its health care plans, though, the Affordable Care Act mandated it at the time. Hobby Lobby’s political stance might be one community members feel morally opposed to or might be one they agree with. It’s important to ask, how might Hobby Lobby’s refusal to pay for contraception in health care plans impact those employees working at the store who might need access to those resources?  

The point of all of this information about Hobby Lobby is not to persuade readers one way or another about shopping at its store, but rather, to encourage readers and the public to always inform themselves about new businesses coming to town — especially big corporations — and pay attention to their impact on the community.