When The Going Gets Tough ...

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We hate to stoop to a cliché -- but there's a reason pithy bits of wisdom get that way.

So when the going gets tough....

The tough go to the business showcase.

We know business is a struggle in town these days. Even if we hadn't made note of the near stoppage in building permits and the discouraging drop in town sales tax revenue -- we're out there every day with the brave souls who's risk-taking and hard work keep the economy humming along -- or in some cases still sputtering.

Running a business in Payson is tough these days. So we were heartened by the dramatic 50 percent jump in attendance at the 2008 Business Showcase. The big jump indicated both the kinds of businesses and citizens we've been blessed with in the Rim Country -- but also the great strides the Rim Country Regional Chamber has made under the direction of John Stanton.

We know the chamber has had its challenges, but Stanton's modest, persistent and optimistic approach have yielded benefits.

We also are grateful to the business star of the showcase -- the Payson Regional Medical Center.

The hospital not only won the award for best overall, but also the Media Award and the People's Choice, among the many great businesses represented. Other businesses recognized at the event include Payson Care Center's award for best theme and Plant Fair Nursery's award for Best Outside Exhibit.

Consider the impact that the Payson Regional Medical Center has on the community, according to the center's own community benefit report for 2007.

  • A total of 85,096 patient visits.
  • A payroll of $19.7 million, which flows into the local economy.
  • Capital improvements totaling $2.4 million.
  • Payments of $577,000 for property taxes

The report included several other noteworthy initiatives at the center. One figure in particular demonstrates the extent to which we're all in this together, especially in the tough economic times. The Medical Center figures that it spends $2.3 million annually with other Rim Country businesses, a demonstration of the importance of the Chamber's effort to get people to buy local, so that when the economy revives and we start chugging along again, we're all still here.

The Medical Center also has one other praiseworthy item on its list of community benefits -- the $3.7 million in uncompensated care it provided in 2007. Of course, all businesses have bad debt -- but saved and mended lives hide in that number. The failure of the state and federal government to fix an ailing medical system is a whole other topic, but in the meantime we're grateful for that $3.7 million write off.

All told, the Payson Regional Medical Center figures that it invests about $29 million annually in the community.

So the center deserved the recognition it received at the Showcase.

But really, the center just took the trouble to quantify what's true for every business in this town. We're all connected. The monthly sales figures for every business in town are just the ripples spreading outward through the still waters of the beloved community. Every job and every sale of an item is important to the well-being of the Rim Country economy.

So we salute the Payson Medical Center, the Regional Chamber, the 250 exhibitors and the 700 people who attended and who make our economy strong.

You all proved that we're tough enough to care about one another.

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