The Chronicle’s View: Small businesses deserve chance to thrive

Many are concerned about the slow decline of one of Salt Lake City’s unique and culturally eclectic shopping areas. The neighborhood known as 9th and 9th has seen its share of changes over the years, yet there is fear that it is now changing for the worse.

Orion’s Music has recently decided to move because of financial troubles. The store is hoping to drum up some new business and clientele in Sugar House.

Orion’s move may not have direct impact on the lives of U students, but it is symptomatic of another problem that does affect them.

It seems that small businesses these days are finding it more difficult to compete with the large corporate businesses that dominate the business world.

The American Dream is slowly being crushed by its own defiant mutation, and the ripples of the corporatization of America have changed more than just index numbers on the New York Stock Exchange.

Small business owners are finding it difficult to compete with the Wal-Marts and Starbucks of the world. As a result, there are fewer independent film houses, like the Tower Theatre, and more commercial impostors, like Madstone Theaters.

But it’s all just part of the pruning done by the invisible hand, and in the end, the market is the best way for the needs of the people to be met. Right?

So what has the invisible hand given us? It seems that America is quickly becoming the same homogenized city. Slowly fading are the days where cities had personality and culture-and this has left Americans with a lack of choice.

Instead of eating at a local barbecue house in Memphis, a visitor is forced to settle for baby back ribs at Chili’s. Instead of finding a first edition of one’s favorite book at a used bookstore, one is forced to order it at Barnes & Noble or conduct a search on eBay.

It’s time for the revolution. It is time for buyers to take more responsibility and be accountable for the decisions they make with the ever-so-precious dollar.

As consumers, students need to resolve not to be consumer clones, but rather to be mindful of the effects that decisions, such as eating at McDonald’s rather than Barbacoa, have on their neighbors and community.

Hopefully, 9th and 9th is able to retain some of its unique charm and appeal. Hopefully, there is still room for local businesses to make a name and living for themselves. Hopefully, Orion’s Music will not be replaced by an Einstein Bros. Bagels or Starbucks.