‘Proud to be Local’ business feature this week is Willie’s A&W in Pocatello.

KPVI talked to the owner of the local franchise about how buying local helps him, help the community.

A&W restaurants have been around since 1919 and are one of the most recognizable fast food places in the nation.

In fact, it’s also the oldest fast food chain in the United States.

The local owner says the famous root beer float is by far the most popular item on the menu.

“Well you get a lot of big corporations that make it awful tough on the small businessmen, which I am and you get into a franchise like this, you know you  need the help of the local community and the more they support you, the more we take the money and put it back in to local economy,” says Chet Willie, Owner A&W.

Local business owners like Willie, say they depend on the community support so they can create more jobs for local people.

“It makes it so if we have good business, we give employees higher wages and it helps pay for what we have here, the building,” says Willie.

Not only does it help create more jobs and retain current employees, but it has other benefits.

Pocatello City Council members say if you buy locally, the entire community prospers from it.

“If I buy something, those dollars are spread out and when we have local businesses contributing to the tax base, it spreads out the responsibility for taxes and it really makes it an easier burden on everyone to have the services that we need locally,” says Jim Johnston, Pocatello City Council.

Only about 34 percent of the revenue from national chains is reinvested into the community, versus 65 percent return from local business.


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