Volume XI, Issue 10 ~ March 13-19, 2003

<Current Issue>
<This Weeks Lead Story>
<Dock of the Bay>
<Letters to the Editor>
<Bay Reflections>
<Burton, Sky and Sea>
<Not Just for Kids>
<8 Days a Week>
<Bayweekly in Your Mailbox>
<Print Advertising>
<Bay Weekly Links>
<Behind Bay Weekly>
<Contact Us>



For Local Business, Keep Business Local

The General Assembly should make fast work of killing a proposal to allow vastly expanded sale of liquor by grocery and convenience stores.

The matter hasn’t surfaced for years, and rightly so. Now, in the name of Maryland small business, it should be dispatched to the Bad Ideas Study Commission or wherever destructive proposals are sent to languish.

The battle pits the big chains against locally owned liquor stores, which argue that the Big Boys would squeeze them out of business and then squeeze more money out of consumers. They’re no doubt right.

The chains frame it as a matter of freedom and choice for consumers. They’re right, too, unfortunately.

We think that there’s another element to choice here, one that’s too frequently ignored. We’re speaking here of choosing to protect our remaining locally owned establishments — from liquor to love potions to loaves of bread — from corporate conquest.

Look around. It’s harder than ever to find businesses owned in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties. At busy intersections and shopping malls, you may never find a business that is not run out of Dallas, California or New Jersey. That’s why communities across America look the same now.

Call us old fashioned, but we see the proliferation of 7-Elevens, Wal-Marts and Safeways as anti-business and, dare we say, anti-American.

We back that up by saying that one version of the American Dream is to own your own business. Be in charge of what’s sold, for how much and who works with you to help your business grow.

We would argue that small business built the best of America and gave communities independence and diversity.

Chains typically pay minimum wage, ship their profits far away and inflict us with dulling sameness. Small businesses keep their profits at home and support their communities, their churches and their local sports teams.

We hope such ideas haven’t gone out of date. They were revolutionary when Thomas Jefferson concluded that the best prescription for a strong republic was keeping its ownership in many hands rather than in the pockets of a few.

We’ll drink to that from our neighbor’s liquor store — and preferably a beverage from a microbrewery or small vintner.



© COPYRIGHT 2003 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last updated March 13, 2003 @ 1:57am