Big businesses dominate global market, chains appear everywhere

Nic Baggetto, Staff Reporter

On every street corner, you’ll find a Starbucks; in every strip-mall, a Wal-mart, and in every country across the planet, thousands of uniform department stores and restaurants. As an outlet for the masses, business chains are becoming increasingly popular and overshadowing mom and pop type businesses.

One of the key factors behind the success of big business is consistency.

“People know Target. People know McDonalds. These places have become the hallmark for what to expect,” AP human geography teacher Rob Shepard said. “Local businesses have more mystery behind them.”

Recently, the chain Starbucks has been implemented in hospitals around the nation, including Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. The nearest Starbucks is only half a mile away.

Freshman Sara Kouvelis doesn’t seem to mind. “I think it’s a great idea! It can be for the people staying long nights,” Kouvelis said. “I don’t care if they’re everywhere. It’s delicious.”

Business teacher Chad Froeschle shed some light on the idea behind chains springing up everywhere. Simply put, marketing is the key. Certain smaller businesses struggle to get going and don’t turn a profit. Larger chains have corporate sponsorship and use their name to gain popularity.

“Small businesses contribute directly to [the local economy],” senior Cody Vassiliou said. “If they disappear, the money might not be funneled back to the economy.”

Most of the largest chains we know today, such as McDonalds began as smaller businesses long before today’s teens walked the halls of EGHS.

“The convenience of it is nice even though small businesses don’t really stand a chance,” sophomore Mary Daniels said. “Life isn’t fair, though.”

Froeschle strongly believes that smaller businesses will come back in urban areas based on population size. In rural areas, there are more people to support mom and pop type businesses, causing a push back to occur.

“In places like Portland, Ore. and out in California, I’ve noticed push back,” Shepard said. “I think that’s notably the exception as opposed to the rule though.”

Often times push back is due to consumers learning what they’re really eating or drinking. A small push back took place when it was revealed that food chains like McDonalds and Taco Bell used pink slime to expand their ground beef so they could produce more burgers and tacos. Cost and convenience overpowered the pink slime expose however, and the outrage among consumers died down.

English teacher Matt Snow doesn’t eat at chain restaurants because he doesn’t support them.

“You can find better prices for better food elsewhere,” Snow said.

Supporters of locally owned businesses like Snow are one of the main contributing factors to small businesses staying open and keeping a sense of Americana alive.

“I think you lose the local flavor and ambiance of an area when everything begins to look the same. You lose a sense of individuality,” Shepard said. “It’s not for me to tell people how they should shop, though. People shop for cost based on their income. It’s up to individuals to decide whether or not they want to support chains.”