Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mom & Pop Stores and Workers Fight to Keep Wal-mart Out of New York City...

Studies Show Wal-mart Pushes Out 25% of Local Small Businesses and Destroys 3 Jobs for Every 2 It “Creates”

Quinn, de Blasio: “NYC can’t afford one job-killing Wal-Mart”

Small business owners and workers from across the 5 boroughs urged the City Council today to protect mom and pop stores and the 450,000 New Yorkers they employ by keeping Wal-Mart out of New York City.

Part of Wal-mart Free NYC, they joined with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and other elected officials, clergy, community leaders, homegrown small business owners who are concerned that if Wal-mart is able to buy its way into New York City, local neighborhood stores will go bankrupt, and more New Yorkers will become unemployed.

Small businesses are the lifeline to our City,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “They encompass so much of what NYC represents – hard work, tenacity and a dream. I will not allow any store to come into our great City to target and choke our Mom and Pop stores out of business. We need our corner bodegas and our neighborhood supermarkets to not only survive – but thrive. They can’t do that with a Wal-mart in one of our five boroughs.”

"Wal-Mart had an opportunity to make their case to New Yorkers in a public hearing but they chose to spend millions on propaganda instead of accounting for the facts on the ground. Wal-Mart’s record is clear: they have eliminated more jobs than they created by driving small businesses out of town and they are contributing to the decline of the middle class by instituting poverty level wages for families. What’s good for Wal-Mart isn’t good for New York City,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

If Wal-mart comes to New York, I’m going to be out of business,” said Louis Hernandez, Owner of Associated Supermarket in East New York, Brooklyn. “They come into our neighborhoods and don’t care about the little guys like us who have been here for years, all they care about is stomping us out. There are thousands of stores just like mine that would be in danger if Wal-mart comes to New York.”

Times are tough, but Wal-mart would make it even tougher. If a store like mine goes out of business it’s no big deal to Wal-mart but for me it would be devastating,” said Mark Tanis, Manager of Shoppers World in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Nelson Eusabio, Owner of Compare Supermarkets in Queens added: “Small businesses in my neighborhood would be in a lot of trouble if Wal-mart moved in. Wal-mart just comes in and because they are so big can do whatever they want, leaving small businesses like mine on life-support, or out of business. Wal-mart would lead to more shuttered stores and fewer job opportunities. That’s a price New Yorkers just can’t afford.”

Studies have shown that Wal-mart destroys small businesses and jobs when it opens up in urban neighborhoods. A study published by the Center for Urban Research and Learning Loyola University Chicago found that after a Wal-mart store opened in the Austin neighborhood in 2006, over 25% of area businesses sampled closed. Stores that were near Wal-mart were “more likely to go out of business eliminating the equivalent of about 300 full time jobs—about as many as Wal-mart initially added to the area.”

An author of that study found that, “the findings support the contention that urban Wal-mart stores absorb sales from other city stores without significantly expanding the market.” In addition, the study found that there was no increase in retail activity or employment opportunities.