Letter to the Editor

Food trucks to hurt local businesses

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

To The Editor:

I grew up in Osceola, graduated from high school there and called it home until I graduated from Arkansas State and moved to North Carolina. However, my heart and my love for this little piece of Delta paradise, many of my generation now call our own Mayberry, remains as strong today as it did some 50 plus years ago. For that reason, I was shocked and appalled by a post on Facebook by Main Street Osceola promoting and evidently subsidizing out of state food trucks to compete with locally owned restaurants.

While I donít question the intent of the individuals making this decision, I strongly question the decision making process, and if the ramifications of this promotion were considered at all. How does subsidizing, including providing a delivery service, to out of state food trucks in competition with local restaurants promote Main Street or the City of Osceola? Will the trucks be inspected by the health department as required by Arkansas law the day of the event? Will the truck owners have the proper insurance in case of injury or illness resulting from eating tainted food? Will the food trucks put their earnings back into the local economy? Will the food truck owners buy ads in the high schoolís football programs or annuals? Will the food trucks pay any property or business license fees? Will the food trucks hire local residents? The obvious answer is a resounding NO!

Yet, local restaurants do all of this. Was any consideration given to the local servers who may lose $40-50 income every Wednesday? Was any consideration given to the cooks who may lose employment hours as a result of this misguided promotion?

Locally owned businesses are the backbone and life line of any small town. Perhaps, a promotion of this nature would be a better promotion if local businesses were providing the services instead of outsiders. That would be a win-win for everyone.

The Facebook post states, ďLetís show these guys some love.Ē I would suggest the love should be directed to local businesses and their employees.

Milton Barber

Hot Springs Village, Ark.