I see that myself where local businesses stock up at the superstores. i have to shake my head. I'm in a trade orginization and they routinely make deals with the giants for special deals for the industry I'm in. I always tell them no thanks I'll buy from local business owners.<quoted text>I had a carpet cleaning franchise for a couple of years in the early 90s, and my experience with folks with money was the same as yours.
I try and shop local whenever possible. I usually hit 20% of my grocery budget, and the only way my beef could be more local is if I raised it in the back yard. With other stuff I'll trade at locally owned franchises of national brands when I can (Ace Hardware, etc).
You can begin to question the effort when you buy something from a local business on Tuesday and run them on Saturday at Walmart with a card loaded up from various and sundry departments. I get the same feeling when I see my union neighbor shopping there the same week he had been picketing in front of a business for 'unfair labor practices'.
There's nothing new about the impact of the Walmarts of the world on local businesses except that Walmart impacts so many different areas. I'm pretty sure it's been going on since the mail order giants of the late 19th century (Sears, Montgomery Ward) started opening stores. On groceries in particular, the threat of large chains is one of the themes of John Steinbeck's novel "The Winter of Our Discontent", published in 1961.
Sometimes as a business owner you may be in the same situation as CC described. Starting out I had to be thrifty. When i started making profits I started utilizing local business, and i also made sure they knew why. There are advantages to using locals as i'm sure your aware. Better service and better quality.
Good an interesting post WW....