Twenty years ago, the number of large out of state — or country — corporations in James City County was small compared to local business. Since then, we have seen a rapid increase in their number, which has had a negative effect on the local economy. Most notably, the destruction of local businesses and jobs.
Unlike local businesses, large corporations exert undue influence over government, fix wages downward, reduce the number of jobs, limit competition, send their profits to out of area headquarters, and procure non-local products through national or international contracts.
Corporations are huge money pumps that send our money out of the area. Our only local economic benefits are from their wages and taxes. If a corporation is foreign based — Food Lion, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Budweiser, Ben and Jerry’s, Burger King, and General Electric (appliances) — then profits leave the U.S. entirely.
Almost every dollar you spend at a big box store is taken out of our local economy. We make national financial centers richer and us poorer because of the impact on our local domestic product.
All corporations go bankrupt over time. Few last more than 30 years. When a corporation leaves the area, it leaves an unfillable hole. This affects jobs, taxes and buildings. It can take years, if ever, for another corporation to replace the one that is lost. The area is pockmarked with empty corporate stores. If a local business goes bankrupt, the effect is minimal and another one readily takes its place.
Unfortunately, the lower prices, convenience and selection of corporate stores has taken hold of our local economy. Promotion of local businesses is key to the economic wealth and stability of our area. Local businesses tend to have superior customer service and value your patronage, unlike big corporations. They are vested in the community, provide a more robust local economy that result in lower taxes, less unemployment and less poverty because their profits stay here. Shop small business, it is good for us all.