English Composition II
March 4th, 2013
Corporate Giants vs. Small Business Owners
Every day, small independently owned mom-and-pop shops are going out of business. Big corporations sell a variety of goods at an affordable price; even if the goods sold are considerably poorer quality, the convenience and affordability usually outweighs the quality and care offered by a small business. In this paper, I plan on discussing how mom-and-pop shops are beneficial in some aspects to the community but as society grows and demands increase the need for big box corporations may be essential. I plan on debating this controversial topic by looking at the pros and cons of each side while taking factual evidence to support my final conclusion. By the time I have come to my final conclusion I hope to have answered whether or not big corporate giants are destroying the smaller businesses in America.
The American society has built its foundation on small businesses. As the population grew along with Americas ability to effectively trade with other countries, so did the size of the businesses that were able to supply the consumer’s demands. When I think of mom-and-pop shops the first thing that comes to mind is the quote from the old television show Cheers, “I want to go where everybody knows your name.” Mom-and pop stores once thrived in local communities throughout America but now are struggling to compete with stores like Wal-Mart. According to extensive research by Russell Sobel and Andrea Dean, “One of the largest anti–Wal-Mart organizations, Wal-Mart Watch, released a report in 2005 claiming that a Wal-Mart expansion in Iowa was solely responsible for the extensive closings of mom-and-pop stores, including 555 grocery stores, 298 hardware stores, 293 building suppliers, 161 variety shops, 158 women’s stores, and 116 pharmacies.” (Sobel, Russell S. and Andrea M. Dean, 2008) In the 1960’s in New York City you could walk down the greater metropolitan areas, and it was filled with small businesses. Businesses that were family owned and also family operated. Back then it was common for everyone in the family to pitch in, especially the kids. They would help with everyday concerns like bagging customer’s purchases, stocking shelves, tending to customers and even delivering the customers goods to their home on their bicycle. Using family members as employees ultimately helped them save money. It was also common for the family to either live above, behind or in the back of their shop which was more convenient for them (Brown, 2012).
Although some people may not see the importance of having small businesses around, they are very wrong. They serve a great importance to us and our community. One of the key ways they strive to stay in business is the way they treat their customers. Small business owners rely on maintaining a great customer relationship which helps them gain new customers. They have a simple philosophy, if you give the customer a reputable shopping experience than they will most likely be repeat shoppers, and chances are, they will spread the word around and get others to shop there as well. This is because local customers will remain loyal to their favorite small businesses even in the middle of an economic catastrophe (Hicks, 2009).
Small business owners are believed to be greatly optimistic. They are hardworking, personally motivated, well-educated and they simply want to be their own boss. Many people will call these individuals entrepreneurs. The reason they open up their own business is because they have a passion for whatever kind of business they are conducting. Going into something that you are passionate about you have the advantage over big box stores by having the knowledge of what you are selling or operating. Big box stores have a vast variety of merchandise so for them to know every detail about the product is highly unlikely.