Friday, January 18, 2013

The Plight of Small Businesses

A giant Walmart moved in across the street from me this past Wednesday, and I'm torn. In a time when I need to save every penny and dollar I can, it would be great to save $1.50 on paper towels by visiting the giant across the street. But at the same time, I've been noticing a terrible trend in my least 4 small businesses have closed within the past month...all within a three block radius of my apartment.

Red Hen Bread closed their location around the corner...goodbye awesome espresso and walk-up window. Ellie will miss those dog treats. 
Pizza Persona was up and running two days ago! And yesterday it was all papered up, out of nowhere.
The Counter closed maybe a month ago, same story, quick and sudden. They were easily the best burger on the block, build-your-own burger? Genius!
Lakeview Flower Shop, after 40 years, is clearing out.

How sad is this?!
It really underlines the idea that we need to support our local businesses.

But how do we do that when we all feel the need to save every penny and dollar? It'd be great to spend $1.50 less on paper towels by shopping at this new Walmart, but I would HATE to ever see The Market Place, the amazing, wonderful, kind grocery store around the corner, get hit because the "king of cheap" has staked it's territory.

I'm actually slightly upset that Chicago let this happen. Chicago has been known to fight these large corporations in the name of shopping local and family-owned businesses for a long time. Recently a Target made it's way into the loop, and there's a Walmart Express in the heart of Lakeview, but this giant Walmart? I'm surprised the thought was even entertained.

So my dilemma: these big Walmarts and Targets are cheaper. And I need to be fiscally responsible. But I also need to feel morally responsible. I just want to go to every private restaurant in my area and give them my business. But it probably wouldn't be financially responsible for me to eat out several times per week.

So what do you do? Do you guys bite the bullet and pay out some extra money to support your local businesses, or do you stick to bargain shopping at the corporate-mega-giants?

I wish I wasn't put in a position to feel so torn. I wish the US Small Business Administration could help the people in my area.

No comments: