Big bummer for me, one of my favorite indie coffee shops, Duo 58, is moving about 1,000 miles south (okay, just 10 or so) to east Orlando.
They’re moving because the plaza where they’re located is undergoing a major renovation, bringing in a new health food store, as well as building a smaller strip mall in front of it.
The landlord has priced the rent for their coffee shop and kitchen out of their reach, and so this nonprofit coffee shop is leaving and heading to a new location.
I can’t entirely blame the landlord. After all, it’s their building, it’s their money. I’m only sad that they’re forcing one small local business to leave so two national franchises can sprout up, hydra-like, to take its place.
Small businesses are the backbone of this economy, because nearly $.45 of every dollar spent at a locally-owned business stays in the local community, with another 9% being spent in the state. But that same dollar spent at a chain store only sees $.14 staying locally.
So our local economy suffers as the money we spend here gets sent out of the community to enrich someone else far away.
I don’t want you to stop supporting franchises, because they often have local owners and employ local people. But I don’t want you to ignore the small businesses either. Visit your favorite local restaurants, drink at your favorite local coffee shops, and shop at your local retailers. Support your local businesses and take a stand against cookie-cutter developments making our cities look identical, destroying all of their character.