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View Poll Results: Two part question - Answer each part without looking at your neighbor's paper.
Part 1 - Would you be more or less likely to visit a tourist destination if it had no chains and all local businesses? 5 14.71%
Much more likely 10 29.41%
A little more likely 6 17.65%
Wouldn't make a difference 15 44.12%
A little less likely 2 5.88%
A lot less likely 0 0%
Part 2 - In the long run, would banning national chains help or hurt a local economy? 5 14.71%
It would help a lot 3 8.82%
It would help a little 3 8.82%
It wouldn't make a difference 6 17.65%
It would hurt a little 9 26.47%
It would hurt a lot 8 23.53%
Part 3 Bonus Question - Would you rather know how to play a trombone or a french horn? 4 11.76%
Trombone 14 41.18%
French Horn 7 20.59%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:53 AM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Banning Chain Stores - Should A City Do It?

I was in a tourist-type town this week on business, and I have a general policy. I won't spend my money in a chain restaurant. It really annoys me for some reason to go into a resort town and see a bunch of Bubba Gump restaurants or chain steakhouses or Chili's or Starbucks. Yeah, that's why people go on vacation, so they can eat at the same restaurant that's a mile from their house.

So anyway, I generally try to support small business, and I'll always take a local restaurant over a chain if possible. To be honest, my practice isn't as good with hotels because the quality difference is often large, but I'll always go for the local restaurant if I can.

But I really wonder about the impact of chains on local communities. Whether it's a hotel or a restaurant or a Wal-Mart or a Trader Joe's, local people spend their money there and the profit immediately gets on a stagecoach out of town to corporate heaquarters.

One argument is that chains can be cheaper for the locals, and I have no doubt that Wal-Mart is cheaper than a local store. But if you consider that Wal-Mart pulls money consistently out of the community, I wonder if the community and its locals would be better off paying a little bit more and having their own businesses thrive, which gives them more money to spend.

Are there any cities that have banned national chains? How has that worked out? If I was on a city council I'd strongly consider it. And I think it goes double for a tourist-dependent town. You go on vacation to shake things up, and I wonder if tourism will decline in the long term if every tourist town eventually becomes a strip of La Quinta, Starbucks, and Applebee's.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:44 PM   #46
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Ironically, I think a lot of people think that banning chain stores is socialist and anti-competitive, but your well-worded point confirms that it's exactly the opposite. It's capitalism at its finest, because one community is saying that they're going to brand themselves and niche themselves differently. In the case of tourist towns, I think this could be a profitable niche for the community, particularly if one defines profitable as ensuring sustainability for the long term.
This is anti-competitive—completely and utterly.

No it is NOT capitalism...unless you mean state-capitalism or cartel-capitalism. It has a fascist/mercantilist factor in it. Certainly, it is not free-market capitalism. Banning in the marketplace is a form of central planning because the few plan what business is allowed based on their values. When you make the market any govt's business like this, it is not free anymore. Central planners are unable to calculate because they ignore competitive pricing. There is no way for govt officials to gauge the success of an enterprise. The market, aka the people do that.

To be competitive a business has to please the consumers aka players in the market. If they don't they go out of business. So you don't need a local govt to engage in a ban. People will vote with their money.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:48 PM   #47
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Rain Main, you are using force ( what govt is) to ban people's choices. This is no different than quotas, affirmative action. It is govt discrimination.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #48
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I'm torn. Personally I love the foundational sound of the trombone, but I think chicks dig French horn players.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #49
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Rain Main, you are using force ( what govt is) to ban people's choices. This is no different than quotas, affirmative action. It is govt discrimination.
In many cases, big box retailers are getting favorable benefits, whether through the federal government in the form of tax breaks or through getting sweetheart deals to do business locally. So I can understand if some local governments want to at least give local businesses an equal playing field.

Small businesses should fail because they didn't have anything to offer. They shouldn't have to claw from behind. So if it's an action to correct the balance, it makes sense to me. But you're right, I'd rather right the balance than outright ban.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #50
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I'm torn. Personally I love the foundational sound of the trombone, but I think chicks dig French horn players.
Every serious french horn player I've ever met has been homosexual. Seriously, it's like 5 for 5.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:17 PM   #51
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Please elaborate.

The math seems pretty straightforward to me. Where do the profits get spent? A local business will recirculate them in town, and a chain will send them to New York or Aruba or wherever.

In tourist towns, the chains can also come in and take the best properties because they have the cash to outbid pretty much any local. One could argue that they're making the most out of the property, which is a good thing, but at the same time it makes the most desirable tourist places pretty generic. Who wants to eat at the TGIF in Times Square? Who wants to eat at Bubba Gumps in Maui? In the long run, I think the chains decrease a tourist town's ability to draw tourists.
I've eaten at the Bubba Gumps in Maui twice and both times the beer was ice cold and the food pretty good. What do I give a shit what name is on the restaurant? Both times there was a line of people waiting to get in so I guess the answer to your question is a lot of people.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:20 PM   #52
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Maybe make certain zones for non chains or something. Let the chains lie on the outskirts and keep local business in the city cor or something. That's just an idea.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:23 PM   #53
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I live in a tourist town and it's full of chains. And vacationers scoop that shit up. There are plenty of local shops, but chains aren't affected here. They thrive.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:07 PM   #54
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Maybe make certain zones for non chains or something. Let the chains lie on the outskirts and keep local business in the city cor or something. That's just an idea.
Yeah, that's a good idea.

I'm trying to remember. It seems like there's some city that does that in their main tourist area. Maybe Santa Fe.
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:08 PM   #55
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I'm torn. Personally I love the foundational sound of the trombone, but I think chicks dig French horn players.
I bet there's something Freudian when they watch him insert his entire hand into the horn.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:29 PM   #56
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I have traveled a lot. I still travel a lot. Just because its a local joint does not make it good. There are a lot of shit places to eat. I dont go to chains anywhere. So some moron idea that banning chains means goo local stuff will somehow appear is nuts. Make local places deliver better than a chain and prosper. There are chains like Tim Hortons that are awesome. Its sad we dont have Tim Hortons any town will benefit from good chains. And suffer from crap. Give me Culvers. Give me Chick fil A. Give me Tim hortons. All good. Locals can try to beat them.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:38 PM   #57
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If the business is local and keeping money in the community I don't ban them. That's the criterion, not whether they're efficient.

Another option that might be more palatable would be this:

From a local community perspective, we recognize that non-locally owned businesses produce a negative impact on the local economy. Therefore, sales taxes or property taxes or whatever on those businesses will be higher to offset the exporting of profits from the community, and the tax dollars will be used to lower taxes to the community at large.

It's not about distasteful, it's about economic viability.
This is fine, but its clearly a naked money grab by local businesses when you state it this way. You say it benefits the community and chain affiliated businesses have a negative effect, but this is only true if you look at it from just a business owner's perspective. The community also includes the consumer, who is clearly made worse off by restricting his choices and banning businesses he would want to patronize because local businesses don't want the extra competition.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:45 PM   #58
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:37 PM   #59
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I have traveled a lot. I still travel a lot. Just because its a local joint does not make it good. There are a lot of shit places to eat. I dont go to chains anywhere. So some moron idea that banning chains means goo local stuff will somehow appear is nuts. Make local places deliver better than a chain and prosper. There are chains like Tim Hortons that are awesome. Its sad we dont have Tim Hortons any town will benefit from good chains. And suffer from crap. Give me Culvers. Give me Chick fil A. Give me Tim hortons. All good. Locals can try to beat them.
I don't think that the quality of the goods has anything to do with it.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:51 PM   #60
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I don't think that the quality of the goods has anything to do with it.
Really? So the idea is to deprive people the opportunity to enjoy what they believe is quality and force them to accept less? What?
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