What does Small Business do?

“What Do Small Businesses Do?,” E. Hurst & B. Pagsley (2011) | A Fine Theorem:
The question is important since it is tough to see why the tax code should privilege, say, an independent convenience store over a new corporate-run branch – if anything, the independent is less innovative and less likely to grow in the future.
This may be true but is "growth" all that matters? The difference I see is that there is at least some chance an independent owner will care about the local community and almost no chance that the corporate owner will.

A local owner will usually live in the area, spend his spend his profits there, own and at least try to maintain and improve the property, know and possibly even care about his employees.  Employees are more likely to care about and respect the local owner who may be a friend or family. There is a chance the business can be sold or passed on to another local the in the future. In other words it is, or has a chance to become part of the community. Like a majestic old tree, it lives and has roots there.

This is lost in the corporate environment. Look around the dying small towns of the rust-belt and you see the outskirts riddled with corporate owned big-box stores, quickie-marts, restaurants, auto parts chains, home improvement stores etc managed and staffed by disinterested employees who don't give a damn about the store or its place in their community.

Who could blame them?  They are paid as little as possible, forced to work terrible hours, over regulated by rules that allow the business to run with a minimum of adult supervision, and dominated by crappy managers who are usually just a disinterested employee who hung around long enough to be promoted, making only a little more than the others. In short, they are treated like shit. Very few employees in these stores see a good future. They're just looking for some way out,.... Fuck Walmart,... Autozone,.. Pizza Hut,..Subway,..etc.. etc... etc..

They put up with that crap, not for someone they know, but for some unseen corporate boss that doesn't give a damn about them or their community and is just there to mine the area for its dollars, collecting the cash and sending it off corporate shareholders to be spent in some other area by some corporate stock holder.


Those empty buildings of our dying small towns were once filled with locally owned businesses but are now just decaying monuments of our past growth. Growth spurred by people,.. individuals. Today's growth is corporate. It doesn't give a damn about the people. It doesn't give a damn about those empty buildings downtown. The corporate would builds it's own cities on outskirts of the cities the people built.

Growth? What,.... no, Who is it good for?

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