With the closing of many local businesses and the one chain here in Great Falls, I have to say the recession is hitting us.
The loss of small business is our own fault though, we bought into the greed. Do you shop at Wal*Mart?Target? Eat at Burger King? McDonald's? Yah- that helped. I know that I contributed too. I also know I never ate at the Big Sky Bagel Bakery and very rarely at either Burger Master, Zandy's or Park-n-Ponder. When my son worked at Zandy's- we ate there but not before nor since. That was my choice. My family loves to eat Best Wok, Maple Gardens, and Howard's Pizza. We also eat BK, Subway and Noodles Express. There are many local choices mixed with those chains.
When Barnes & Noble first arrived in GF there was an awesome local bookstore I loved. I spent a ton there. Not six months after B&N opened they closed- cheap books beat them. Box stores have a solid business model that draws in customers and pushes mom & pop stores out. But the consumer drives businesses. Business is in business to make money. Greed leads companies (& people) to make & sell more products because that is what produces more profit. If you want to see greed in action just turn on the TV! Every commercial sells you a product. When the Red Lobster commercial comes on I think about how great it would be to have one here BUT I also know that it would not be a place I could afford to eat at every day. The once a year trip to Billings makes it "special" to eat at RL.
You want local businesses to stick around? Spend your money at the local stores! The whole "sustainable" movement is not just about the environmental impact of big business! Buying local products keeps your neighbor as your neighbor- builds your community and
Where are you going to get your food if you can't buy it at Wal*Mart? Where are you going to buy your clothes if the chain stores are closed? Will you be eating out if Burger King is gone?