A new Dollar General location is currently under construction at 3610 Highway 30 in Dunlap, and it is expected to be open this fall.

The store is going up in the industrial park and will add to the property tax collected for the community.

Besides boosting property tax for the City of Dunlap and Harrison County, Dunlap resident Michelle Miller said there are several other benefits.

Miller currently works in Woodbine and buys some items from the Dollar General there, but she is excited to have a local option that is on her way home.

“My money will stay in Dunlap instead of the Dollar General in Woodbine, and it would be right on my way home,” Miller said. “The only spending change for me will be that we are spending our dollars in Dunlap instead of Woodbine.”

She added that senior residents will have a closer option for many of the items they need instead of traveling in the heat or on icy roads.

Additionally, the store will employ up to 10 people.

While some residents are happy for the new business, others are apprehensive.

“Studying their history, when they come into towns this size, grocery stores, mom and pop ones like mine, a lot of times don’t end up surviving. They are a huge chain store, and they have contracts with companies for way less than I can buy some things for,” said Dale Smith, owner of Smitty’s Grocery in Dunlap. “I’m obviously nervous. We will see what happens… if the community continues supporting us like they do.”

Smith said he has worked hard to supply his customers with the items they need at a fair price. Now, at age 64, he plans to see if his grocery store can survive Dollar General’s opening for a couple of years before considering the sale of his store and retirement.

Dollar General’s public relations department said the chain has similar goals.

“Our customers are at the center of all that we do, and meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority when choosing store locations,” said Angela Petkovic, Dollar General Public Relations. “In selecting store sites, we take a number of factors into consideration, carefully evaluating each potential new store location to ensure we can continue to meet our customers’ price, value, and selection needs. We further strive to provide convenience for customers who may not have affordable nearby retail options.”

In addition to a variety of products, Dollar General is deeply involved in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries within a 15-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer, and youth literacy programs, according to public relations.

Petkovic said. “Since its inception in 1993, the DGLF has awarded more than $182 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.”

The foundation offers additional support to community members who are interested in learning how to read, speak English, and prepare for the high school equivalency exam.

For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com.

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