Tops stores deserve community’s support
The Tops bankruptcy situation should concern everyone in Western New York. Why? Because Tops, back under local ownership for the past five years, has served us very well in numerous communities throughout the region, often where other grocers would not go, employing our neighbors and our neighbors’ children, and contributing in countless ways that benefit others.
Just look at Tops’ donations of 3 million meals to the Food Bank, its contribution to the new Oishei Children’s Hospital and its sponsorship of countless local charitable and school fundraising events.
It’s a far cry from the hundreds of millions taken out of the company by investment bankers who owned the company prior to its return to local ownership.
I know that enormous pressures are at play in the grocery industry. None of us is naïve about tectonic changes in the way we shop for goods these days, nor about what has happened to local merchants, bookstores and shopping malls.
The Tops debt situation is dire, and I have no expertise in that. But what I do know is that Western New Yorkers step up to help when neighbors are in need. And now it’s a matter of saving thousands of local jobs in hundreds of accessible locations. Let’s rally behind Tops by shopping there! A lot is at stake.
So, yes, I am a Tops and Orchard Fresh “cheerleader,” and I invite everyone to join me. You’ll earn gas points, too!
Nancy Nielsen, M.D.