New Report Highlights Challenges Facing Local Small Business

Courtesy of Peter Schmeck

HYANNIS –  Small business advocacy group Love Live Local has highlighted the challenges that small businesses face with its report examining corporate concentration, consolidation of power and the impacts it has on Cape Cod businesses.

CEO Amanda Converse said that the Local Matters report is the result of a yearlong investigation into eight industries including retail, food, restaurant, banking, broadband, waste removal, pharmacies and newspapers, and revealed a continued trend towards fewer and fewer companies controlling more and more of a sector.

“For example, between 2007 and 2017 the number of small retailers fell 65,000. Most food is produced by mega-food corporations—we think we have a ton of choice when we walk into the grocery stores, but most food sectors are run by three to four large corporations,” said Converse. 

“Other things that were shocking to me were the number of local banks going from 12,000 in the 1990’s to 3,000 today. We’re lucky here on Cape Cod, we do have strong local banks but we used to have a lot more.”

She also mentioned Comcast being the majority internet provider on Cape is another example of the consolidation trend, as well as the disappearance of local pharmacies in favor of CVS, Walgreens and others companies.

Converse said that as COVID relief money is rolled out, governments and other agencies should prioritize small businesses and the local economy.

According to Converse, the money would be well-spent, as local businesses are far more likely to reinvest the funds into the local economy than larger businesses, where the money would leave the Cape with little chance of returning. 

“I don’t want people to think that we’re immune to the impacts of corporate power and corporate concentration that happens where we see as off-Cape. We are not immune to that. We see the impacts here on the Cape. That’s what we wanted to point out in this report,” said Converse. 

The full report can be found on Love Live Local’s website here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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