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Big-box shopping isn't local support 

Pink Salon owner, Atascadero

As a downtown Atascadero business owner, I was not impressed with Newton Morales’ take on why “local” businesses do not thrive (“I see opportunity,” April 11). As he stated, he shops at the “local” Starbucks, Vons, and Albertsons and used this as his example of “thriving” businesses. These are corporate companies, not “local” businesses. Buy Starbucks, then you are supporting the income of Seattle, Wash.—not Atascadero.

This is, in fact, the very reason why local businesses struggle, no matter where they are located. If he would shift his patronage to actual local businesses, such as Spencer’s Fresh Markets, the local farmers markets, and Merry Hill Coffee and Tea, then this would be a step in the right direction to supporting our local businesses.

I have seen many storefronts close in Atascadero, not for a lack of financial strategy, improper marketing, or selling of merchandise that the masses are not buying, but simply for the lack of draw to our downtown. Big Bubba’s is still thriving in Paso Robles, but closed down its Atascadero location.

I believe we need to work together as a community and take the time to get to know our town and what quaint little businesses it has to offer. For starters, take a walk down Entrada Avenue or Traffic Way, and you might be surprised what great little shops and dining fare you will find. If everyone continues to shop big-box corporate America in lieu of our smaller local stores first, we will see many more empty buildings emerge.

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