The Big Question
The Big Question: Dr. Varish Goyal
What roles in the community should convenience stores play?
Convenience stores have and will continue to be critical to any community. Their presence helps across multiple facets of daily life. First and foremost, we provide jobs. If you look at the face of convenience stores, you will see one of the most diverse group of individuals working every day.
Our industry doesn’t just provide jobs within the individual location but to the extended ecosystem as well. Think of truck drivers who deliver packaged goods, fresh food and fuel to our stores. Think about construction workers, facilities maintenance technicians and a whole host of other service providers. All these individuals are supported by your local convenience store.
C-stores are there for households 24/7, 365 days a year. Our teams work hard to be there when needed the most, whether it is during an emergency or when someone needs a bite to eat or to quench their thirst. They are working hard to provide what the community wants within easy reach of where they live and work.
Above and beyond jobs and availability, c-stores are stewards of the local community. Our company donates over $300,000 to local charities, schools and organizations each year. The entire industry gives $1 billion back to the communities where they operate through many creative campaigns. In 2022, our company designated a Giving Pump at each location for three months. A donation was made for every gallon of gas pumped at these decorated fuel dispensers. Giving back is what we enjoy the most about our business.
Convenience stores also help individuals earn the American Dream. My parents immigrated from India with very little. It was through their hard work and the opportunities provided by this industry that they were able to provide for their family. Not just their immediate family but also their extended family. There are countless examples of others who have achieved their dreams by working in convenience stores.
Finally, convenience stores provide for the environment. Most people think we just sell gasoline. They don’t always see all the other benefits. Being close to the community keeps many people from driving long distances to get their staples. Car washes recycle 80% of their water and keep dirt and oil out of our storm drains. Many of our stores have solar panels, and we will be providing electric charging soon. Convenience stores provide options that allow customers to make the decisions that fit their values.