You’re right Tom Ritchford. I try not to support chains that kill the mom and pop businesses. I do enjoy local places, but when I travel on road trips, Starbucks is my go to. Walmart was the model for other multinational corporations to follow to be the “go-to” in our communities. I understand the shopping small concept, but I also must give credit where credit is due, they employ people. Lots of times they employ people that otherwise couldn’t get jobs (i.e. ex-offenders, people with terrible credit). It’s very hard to tow the shopping small line when I also know people in my community can only get jobs with these types of businesses. They save lives, help people pay their restitution and child support to stay out of jail, and eat. The help people locked out of the workforce get back on their feet when no one else will.

If these types of businesses meaningfully employ people, people who would otherwise be homeless, in jail, burdens to their families, or maybe participating in the illegal economy, I have no problem patronizing some of these business from time to time. I wish life was black and white, but it’s not. Starbucks is often the job foundation for many ex-offenders starting over, enabling them to get better jobs because they are able to develop a work history. I have a college-educated friend who personally benefited from Starbucks program.

Like you, I prefer local spots, and because I live in FL I have the benefit of supporting many different communities of color. But sometimes, you have to patronize those multinational businesses that do good in the neighborhood! I do anyway.

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