Residents of a Madison neighborhood were shocked to learn in early December that a 20-year-old local grocery store would be closing its doors. Ken Kopp, owner of Ken Kopp’s Fine Foods on Monroe Street, one of the last independent grocery stores in the city, announced he was retiring. Unable to find a buyer for the grocery business, Kopp planned to sell the property to a developer who intended to build a 14,000 square foot drive-through Walgreens.… Read More
Most people are familiar with the damage Wal-Mart, Target and other"big box" retailers have done to local economies. Across the country, these giant stores have gutted downtowns and decimated locally owned businesses.
Now the national chains are dealing communities a second blow. They are vacating their existing stores, sometimes to build bigger outlets, sometimes just closing up shop, in both cases leaving huge empty shells and acres of asphalt behind.
Most people are familiar with the damage Wal-Mart, Target and other "big box" retailers have done to local economies. Across the country, these giant stores have gutted downtowns and decimated locally owned businesses. Now the national chains are dealing communities a second blow. They are vacating their existing stores, sometimes to build bigger outlets, sometimes just closing up shop, in both cases leaving huge empty shells and acres of asphalt behind. … Read More
As Time Warner begins the process of renegotiating its franchise agreement with the city of Portland, much of the coverage in the Press Herald has focused on cable television. And for good reason.
City residents have no cable choice but Time Warner, and since 1996 the cost of its service has risen three times faster than inflation.
But a far more serious long-term issue for Portland residents and Maine’s economy is Time Warner’s stranglehold on broadband cable Internet service.
National retail chains frequently use charitable giving as a tool for overcoming local opposition to their expansion plans. Facing strong resistance in Western Branch, Virginia, Wal-Mart ran ads in the local paper touting the $200,000 it had given to local causes. In Auburn, California, Home Depot made charitable contributions a focal point of its campaign to overcome the community’s long-standing opposition to big box stores. … Read More
The front of the poster shows Uncle Sam with his arms embracing a store owner and a shopper, superimposed over an outline of the state of Iowa and a drawing of Main Street. The back lists ten reasons to support independent businesses. Number one: Money spent at a local business stays in your community. … Read More
The Locally Owned Business Organization (LOBO) of Grand Junction, Colorado celebrates its first anniversary this month. In a year’s time, LOBO has grown from a handful of founders to 52 dues-paying members, ranging from retail stores to contractors, banks, and media outlets. … Read More
Faced with a gap in the local retail base—no pharmacy or bookstore, for example—city officials almost invariably try to lure a national chain into the community. There often seems to be little alternative: how exactly does a town go about establishing a new independent business to fulfill an important function? While there’s no obvious path and it may well prove more difficult than attracting a chain, officials of Orono, Maine recently demonstrated that it can be done.… Read More
The Irish government has made permanent a temporary cap on the size of retail stores in effect since 1998. The new law restricts stores in the Dublin area to 3,500 square meters (38,000 sq. ft.) and applies a 3,000 square meter (32,000 sq. ft.) limit to the rest of the country. The policy also requires that new retail stores be located in town centers. … Read More