Even if the economic benefits are lasting, you might worry about paying more if you shop local or small. However, don't assume that avoiding the chain and big box stores will necessarily cost you money. In fact, there is little or no data to prove that big means cheap. A group in the UK campaigning against a grocery chain moving into in the creative and cultural heart of Cambridge did annual surveys of a box of products purchased in local shops and in the chain store and found the local shops to be around fifteen percent less expensive three years running. At any rate, "cheap food" isn't really cheap; we pay for it later on in increased health care costs.Buying from small, independent businesses, no matter where they're located, supports those business owners directly - both financially and in other ways. For instance, your purchases enhance the proprietor's confidence and self-esteem, and you know that your money goes to support them and their families. As somebody wrote in a graphic that's been making the social network rounds, "When you buy from a small mom business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home." And because independent business owners tend to be specialists in their fields and know their stuff well, you're likely to get a good product or service from them.It remains to be seen how extensive the damage from this monopoly will be. But experience in other industries shows us that eventually quality, price, and choice can suffer along with the people whose livelihoods depend upon the industry. Amazon's domineering behavior is particularly alarming because it threatens the marketplace of ideas. So my indie publishing company's books aren't for sale there and I don't buy there.
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