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It's a Wonderful Store
Nothing could have saved it. The flames reached too high, and the repetitive explosions of paint and aerosol cans ensured that the blaze would be generously fueled for the next couple of hours. It was a goner. The end game now was to keep it from spreading into the hair salon and insurance agency on either side of the store. The volunteers were winning that battle, but it meant that they had nothing left to throw at Bradley Hardware. Frank had to stand by helplessly and watch his family business turn to ash.
This year's December newsletter offers the story of a small town business pushed up against the wall by competition -- and compassion. With a tip of the Santa hat to "It's a Wonderful Life," we offer you this holiday tale that helps us understand -- once again -- the great importance of small businesses in our communities.
Frank Bradley sat and watched the snow swirl around his feet as they dangled from the 90-year-old bridge above the Missouri River. He was tired, and he was very, very cold. Mostly, he was completely discouraged.
Just 30 minutes ago, he had left the site of the hardware business that had occupied three storefronts on the town square for more than 80 years. The same business his father and his father before him had owned. But now, he believed he was leaving the site of Bradley Hardware for the last time.Read the full story.
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