At the urging of a broad group of residents and local business owners, the Tampa City Council voted unanimously in June to reject a proposal to level a neighborhood shopping center to make way for a Walgreen pharmacy and a bank. The shopping center is currently home to nine locally owned businesses, including three restaurants, a fitness center, beauty parlor, and laundry. A developer sought to tear down the center, annex parts of two residential properties, and construct a large, box-like Walgreen’s and a bank. … Read More
Many city officials welcome large chain retailers for the tax revenue that create. Rarely do they consider the other side of the balance sheet: the tax losses that occur when chains displace local stores and the added costs of providing roads, sewers, police, fire, and other public services to the sprawling new development.
Added police costs are proving especially difficult for many communities that once welcomed big box stores. Take Port Richey, Florida, for example. … Read More
Posters declaring "Celebrate Independents Week!" greeted customers of local stores in Tampa, Florida, during the week of July 4th. "As we celebrate our nation’s independence, we invite you to join us in celebrating our great local independents," the posters read.
Independents Week was conceived by Carla Jimenez, co-owner of Inkwood Books. For several years, Inkwood has used Independence Day as an opportunity to remind customers of the importance of locally owned businesses to the community.… Read More
As the story above suggests, Wal-Mart routinely engages in predatory pricing. But the company would prefer not to break the law in the process. To this end, Wal-Mart has joined with Murphy Oil in an effort to repeal a Florida law that prohibits predatory pricing among gasoline retailers.
The two companies financed a "consumer" group, the Coalition for Lower Gas Prices, which contends the Motor Fuel Marketing Practices Act costs Florida consumers $150 million annually in higher gas prices. … Read More