Putting together a viable business deal can be a painstaking process. That reality is completely understandable but little solace to the laid-off employee who's looking for work.
Still, the displaced Potlatch employees and anyone else concerned about the job market in the Brainerd area can't help but be encouraged by reports that Potlatch officials continue to pursue potential buyers for the paper mill in northeast Brainerd.
Details of the group's exploratory talks in China are sketchy because the officials looking for a new buyer don't want to unduly raise hopes or expectations until a deal is sealed.
The fact that officials were willing to travel to China on the premise that a deal was possible shows they are doing more than just paying lip service to finding a good business fit for the abandoned plant. Their mission was to determine if a potential buyer had a sincere interest as well as the resources, knowledge and markets which might match that interest.
It's clear that no one is expecting a business to move in that will pay as well or provide as many jobs as Potlatch did. And some economic observers point out that it's good for a community to not put all of its economic eggs in one basket. A healthy diversity of smaller businesses is sometimes better for a community than one large employer. It can mean tough times if an economic downturn in a particular industry affects that one big employer.
The Potlatch officials who are spearheading the search for a potential buyer deserve this area's commendation and support. Even if information about their progress is lacking in detail, it's still heartening to know they are working hard toward the prospect of securing a new owner for the plant.
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