Business activity has picked up, would like your help

By: 
David Keyes
Laurel Outlook Publisher

A person doesn’t have to look around to see that there is more activity going on in Laurel than there has been in many years.
2017 will go down as a good year for downtown Laurel and the Laurel business community.
The most notable change was the construction of  the Western Security Bank building. Once it vacated its old location, A Haus of Realty moved in and even invited Mountain Mudd to open up a coffee shop where the bank’s drive thru was located. Sorry, Mountain Mudd doesn’t use the pneumatic tube to deliver the hot drinks to cars. I asked.
A Haus of Realty’s old location on First Avenue will soon be occupied by a chiropractor and that will open up another business space on Main Street. Speaking of Main Street, the Gene’s Pharmacy building was sold and will soon open up as a coffee shop among other things.
A person can’t help but notice that Dominos opened on First Avenue.  It has stayed very busy since opening. There will also be a chirpractic office next to Dominos opening soon. In the spring, another building will be constructed on the site next to Ricci’s, running north and south. The builders haven’t said, but the favorite rumor out there is that Jimmy John’s could be moving into one of the two locations in the new building.
Most people noticed that Vinnie’s Deli, which is attached to Ricci’s, closed Dec. 2. The deli was a popular go to for high school students and families. In its place will be Dickey’s BBQ.
Dickey’s BBQ is a franchise with more than 600 locations, including Montana Avenue in Billings.
They are eying a January or February opening.
There is also a rumor that Dairy Queen is seeking a location in Laurel. There have been several ads in the Outlook seeking franchisees here.
There is more but just this list shows that the Laurel market is sought after.
It has always been tough to be in business in Laurel for many reasons. The biggest challenge is that the state’s largest metropolitan area is only 10 miles to the east. With online shopping becoming more popular and Billings’ west side growing up around the Shiloh area, the competition is going to become even more intense.
For these reasons and more, the Outlook is running a list of 20 reasons to shop at home this holiday season. We have also offered up holiday rates to local businesses to take advantage of our very local and very involved readership.
The combination of  volunteering to sell trees at the Rotary Christmas tree lot and participating in the Christmas to Remember parade and festivities, reminded this publisher that the hometown spirit is alive here and that local business folks are trying their best to earn your business.
As corny as it sounds, it really does pay off to shop at home. Just ask Santa.

David Keyes is publisher of the Laurel Outlook.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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