As a consumer recently returning here after a 30-plus year absence, I also was dismayed with changes in McCook ("Lack of loyalty" http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/1087551.html).
However, after six months of trying to deal with the local merchants for products and services, I can understand why the number of local businesses has shrunk.
Repeatedly being told, "well I don't know why it's not here as I promised," or "he handles that and he won't be back 'til next week," "well the supplier shuts down for the holidays so it will be four months instead of two before I can deliver that item to you as I promised."
That's the service that drives cash-paying customers out of town to spend their money in other cities. Not disloyalty, not the better prices (out of town).
The simple fact that when you need an item and are paying for it, you want it when you pay for it or when it was promised. While I can sympathize with sick relatives, bad suppliers, bad weather and sick employees, none of that is my problem as a consumer, or customer.