Sure, corporations are convenient, but at what cost?
By Jason GokHo Ing, Contributor
The presence of small businesses within our current economy seems to be fading at an alarming rate. Year after year, numerous mom-and-pop establishments are forced to shut down thanks to multinational corporations driving out all competition. With an approximately 98 per cent of Canadian businesses having less than 100 employees, as recorded by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, it is essential for small businesses to thrive to keep the economy afloat.
Instead, the opposite has occurred.
CNN noted that approximately 450,000 new businesses were started in 2014. This data is only a fraction of the 600,000 startups that occurred yearly during the 1970s all the way up until the mid-2000s. The reasoning behind the lack of new entrepreneurs stems from the influence of multinational corporations.
According to a video from Bloomberg, Shannon Pettypiece reports that Walmart was able to single-handedly decimate small-town businesses with their prestigious brand name, coupled with their ability to continuously lower prices to suit consumer demand. The result of this takeover has left many rural Americans dependent on Walmart for groceries, furniture, and even medication. The total number of businesses within one town could have gone from dozens to only one within a five-year span. Furthermore, now that Walmart has announced they will be closing 150 of their stores, this leaves the small town of Oriental, North Carolina to cope without a grocery store, hardware store, pharmacy or any of the services that was once provided by Walmart.
Additionally, the level of investment that large and small organizations received only seems to be widening due to fears of a volatile stock market. Time Magazine states that venture capitalists (those who decide to give money to help establish businesses) tend to gravitate towards more established brands and are rarely willing to invest in emerging companies. This trend results in less money for relatively unknown businesses while allowing prominent companies to become richer.
Even though it may seem convenient to have all your clothes, food, and electronics readily available in a singular location, it is important to understand the repercussions that can occur due to this convenience. With big businesses having the production processes and the resources to outcompete almost any local outlet, the visions one entrepreneur may have to change the world with their business appears increasingly bleak with each passing day.