Chain Stores and Condos Bad for Community

I remembered reading this in the Chicago Free Press and was glad to find it online:

Local businesses in Andersonville [north neighborhood of Chicago], the study said, tend to spend more of their revenues on labor and purchase services and goods from other local businesses at much higher rates than the chains. The study concluded that the locally owned Andersonville businesses generate a local economic impact of $179 per square foot, compared to $105 per square foot generated by the chain stores. “That means 70-percent more money circulating in the local economy, which may mean 70-percent more home improvement, 70 percent more in the collection plate and 70 percent more in taxable transactions to fund city services,” the study said.

That’s always my beef. I wish the Caribou Coffee was locally owned and operated as much money as they get from the surrounding community. I look at places like Starbucks and Best Buy and just see big FedEx envelopes being stuffed with money and sent to the home office, away from having any local economic impact (employee salaries don’t count). That’s why I’ll often shop for books at Borders but buy at Unabridged. I wish I trusted any of the local electronics stores but they always look like fly-by-night, hot-merchandise enterprises.

Every single purchase you make every day is a vote for a certain way of life, a certain mode of agriculture, a certain model of business, a certain method of clothing manufacturing, a certain ethic, a certain ethnic.

No pressure.






2 responses to “Chain Stores and Condos Bad for Community”

  1. Jef Avatar

    Why do so many cities think that plowing down all the trees in their neighborhoods to replace with oceans of concrete and franchised retail and restaurants is the key to progress. They don’t think about how this affects their property values and their environment. As much as I love to go to Olive Garden and Best Buy, I’m aware of the harm that it brings. If you drive from Atlanta to Dallas on I-20, you see an endless canvas of the backs of Red Lobsters and Wal-Marts all the way. Every place looks the same now.

  2. Alan Avatar

    I fondly remember browsing Borders back when the one here in Ann Arbor was the only one. It was a really great book store, had a wide AND deep selection. Now that they’ve gone corporate, the store sucks. They have few books of any kind on anything…. I spend most of my money with Booksense stores.

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