POTOMAC — Many Potomac area residents are celebrating the arrival of a new store — Dollar General — to the community.

For Carl Hoshauer, the opening is more than just a convenience.

“I’m handicapped, and if I want to go somewhere I have to have somebody drive for me,” Hoshauer said. “I have a battery-operated electric wheelchair, and the aisles are wide enough I can get up and down them and turn around if I have to.”

Mary Stahl echoed his sentiments.

“It’s wonderful to have another employer in town,” Stahl said.

“Having another place of business in town is drawing more consumers to town. We seem to have just a little more space of interest. I don’t have to drive 23 miles to get what I need.”

Grand opening

The store held its grand opening on Saturday, following an Oct. 4 soft opening.

Potomac Mayor Roger Porter, who has held the village’s top municipal post for four years, had pursued Dollar General from almost the beginning of his job, calling monthly until Potomac became part of their “hot list.”

He pointed out that besides the convenience, the potential revenue is significant. The property tax alone is projected to be around $2,000, and Potomac’s share of the sales tax will be 1 percent.

Towns similar in size to Potomac have seen as much as $10,000 from sales tax annually. It is hoped that Potomac may be able to provide added police protection to its current staff of four part-time officers with the extra revenue. Porter also said he was impressed with the speed in which the store was built, noting that it was originally slated to open Jan. 1.

Store Manager Jon Homan said there are more than 16,000 Dollar General stores operating.

Homan was promoted to the managerial position after working for the Dollar General in Oakwood, where he resides. He has called working for the company “a life-changing experience.”

Enjoys working with public

Homan previously worked a factory job and never saw himself working in retail, but loves working with the public.

“There’s a lot of people with a lot of stories, and I’m always here to listen to them,” he said, “It’s nice to see people in these communities help each other out. If you walk out with a smile on your face and you walked in with a frown, then I’ve done my job.

Added Homan, “I hope people stay excited about it; we plan to keep changing it up.”

He is in the process of finishing up his training, and called his team “amazing” for stepping in when he has had to be gone.

Dollar General is based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., and generally employs six to 10 people in each store, depending on the need. They are involved in the communities in which they serve, with a focus on literacy and education.

At the cash register of every Dollar General store, customers interested in learning how to read, speak English or prepare for their high school equivalency test can pick up a brochure with a postage-paid reply card that can be mailed in for a referral to a local organization that offers free literacy services.

Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $172 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued eduction. For more information about the Literacy Foundation and its grand programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com<http://www.dgliteracy.com>.