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Kish Opinions: Do Franchises Help Small Town Economies?

You Talked & I Listened

Rory Gallagher, Staff Writer

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While researching a potential article, I came across my co-worker at the DeKalb Public Library, 26-year-old Shaniqua Williams. In response to my question, she responded with a logical argument against the presumed positive idea that every new business opening up in DeKalb seems to be either “fast food or factories.” (Along with that, I want to add that DeKalb has diverged to even more diverse fields of supermarkets and warehouses.)

To me, it was always a funny observation that both editors of the K-Scope and at least five of my high school friends worked at Hy-Vee. If the only job that a large percentage of 16-24 year-olds can get is at a recently built franchise location that worries me. However, I’m just a lowly part-time shelver, and most of my food jobs were not that great. I took to the hallways of Kish to gather multiple opinions on this divisive subject.

When I decided to stop trying to pull fantastic arguments out of thin air, I found that both positions had the same number of votes. This was not an unreasonable finding; at least four of the people I asked were impartial to the issue entirely. The most interesting aspect of the polling process was that I found more elaborate arguments from the students who supported franchises over those who did not believe in their generosity. Tyler T, for example, theorized that since the main economy of DeKalb was based on college students, having more franchises would cause the students to spend more money in town.

Shaniqua’s original point of fast food places crippling DeKalb’s downtown stores remained the most passionate argument against building more franchises, even after a couple of weeks. To make a quick hypothesis, I believe that since the arguments in favor of franchises are believed to be less popular nowadays, so if they are presented, their proponents have to put more effort into stating their logic.

In all honesty, I made a trip to Batavia last week just to cash in two free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, from a promotional deal. I bought the insane smorgasbord known as Arby’s Meat Mountain on a whim. As unhealthy as these places can be, the hype for them definitely works. In the end, I just hope that the recent fires of the restaurants on Lincoln Highway stop happening as frequently, and that DeKalb’s downtown gets stronger over the coming summer.

I’d like to thank Jovonte P, Tariq T, Tyler T, Sarah K, Ryan S, and Shawn A for supporting the power of franchises. I would also like to thank Mark C, Mohamad A, Dylan M, Donnie G, Stefon S, and the wonderful Tracy K for arguing in favor of local businesses. Until next time, endure & survive, everyone.

 

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Kish Opinions: Do Franchises Help Small Town Economies?