By Taylor Budzikowski
A new Dollar General location will open in Upland on Jan. 26, 2019 to fill community needs.
The new business will be located on Main Street, and construction of the Dollar General location began between late summer and early fall of 2018.
According to the Chronicle Tribune, the store will create 6-8 jobs for local residents.
"I think it definitely fills a void," Upland Town Manager Jonathan Perez said. "I would say that day-to-day purchases, the normal every day of life purchases . . . Upland residents . . . can purchase here without having to drive to Marion or Muncie."
The new Dollar General will offer residents a more extensive selection of goods and services, create revenue and reflect Upland's growth and development.
According to Upland Town Council Member Ron Sutherland, Dollar General has been trying to come to Upland for the past 10 to 15 years. In addition, the business strategically places locations in small communities.
Dollar General has invested over 1.5 million dollars into the town of Upland through the new building which will create revenue for the small town.
"When you look at a rural Indiana location, actually Upland is one of the few growing," Sutherland said. "It is not fast, but it is one of the few growing communities in all of Grant County."
According to Sutherland, Dollar General has validated the potential development of the town through its new footprint in Upland.
However, rezoning a residential lot to a new business lot was originally met with some concerns.
Sutherland felt that the small size of the residential lot next to the Marathon gas station on South Main Street in Upland could not accommodate a new business. In addition, he respected the frustrations of neighbors who did not want to live next door to a new establishment.
To accommodate concerns, the town council approved a second residential lot to provide adequate space for the new business.
In addition, the Dollar General will have downlit, rather than neon lit, signage to respect neighbors across the street from the business.
Since the new Dollar General will likely increase traffic on Main Street, Upland may gain the long-awaited stoplight at the intersection of Main Street and East Berry/East 600 South Street soon.
Many individuals may wonder whether the Dollar$Mart in Upland will be able to stay in business with the new and larger Dollar General opening in January.
Sutherland responded by recalling that he did not think three gas stations could survive in Upland, yet all three gas stations have received adequate business.
"It is ultimately up to the owners of those businesses to figure out what allows them to have a different market," Sutherland said. "Our hope would be that (Dollar$Mart) does not (go out of business)."
Sutherland and Perez anticipate that the healthy competition between the new Dollar General and established Dollar Smart will improve both businesses respectively.
In the future, Sutherland hopes the New Dollar General might attract new restaurants, like Grains and Grill in Fairmount, IN, and amenities, such as artisan shops, to Upland to further develop the thriving town.