Friday, November 21, 2008

Survival of the independents

From an editorial in The Villager this week titled "Helping small stores"...a few excerpts:

A main victim of the city’s development boom has inarguably been the small businessperson, as mom-and-pop shops struggle to operate in a dense metropolis increasingly driven by real estate interests.

But with the recent economic meltdown — a reality check that exposed Wall St.’s avarice — some small businesses have received a precarious stay of execution as the market chills and rents freeze in place.

While not the best circumstances for a reprieve, the current economic situation does raise interesting questions about ensuring the survival of independent, locally owned retail businesses.

From restaurants and grocers to hardware stores and barbershops, the plight of Village- and Downtown-area mom-and-pop stores has been well publicized, as neighborhood institutions like the Jefferson Market face rising rents and competition from chain operations.


In the end, much responsibility lies with us — the consumers — to support our local stores by patronizing them.

Without our support, the city’s diversity of offerings will give way to a streetscape of banks, chain drugstores and fast-food restaurants. And a Starbucks on every corner.

[Photo by Jeremiah Moss]

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