Over the past two years I have been trying to spread the word about a favorite product of mine, and in doing so have become increasingly aware of the current corporate stranglehold on retail, and I believe it's time to fight back and stand up for small business, which usually has more freedom to satisfy their customers. The text of the petition shall be pasted here:


Over the past two years I have been crusading to promote a favorite candy of mine which used to be everywhere in this area, but has become very hard to find. In doing so I became keenly aware of the tremendous stranglehold corporate concerns have on todays retail environment. At the end of World War II, 80 percent of retail was still family owned. Today about 80 percent of retail is corporate owned, and the trend shows no signs of letting up despite fledgling shop local movements.
The plight of independent shop owners has become a big concern to me, and I believe it is time to do something to reverse this trend and limit the power of some of these corporate behemoths. To do this, some steps have to be taken. First of all, I would like to see an end to a practice which could easily be called retail payola, which is where large companies in candy, soft drinks, etc. actually buy off retailers in order to favor their product over those of smaller competitors.
There should also be a moratorium on new mergers in order to stimulate competition. When companies, especially large ones, consolidate as they have pretty much been given carte blanche to do over the past quarter century, it puts too much power in the hands of too few, and subtracts from healthy competition.
Large retailers in given industries should be limited in how many stores they can operate in a given area depending on the population density and type of industry. This would give smaller operators a leg up and make room for more players. Those with more stores would be given two years in which to sell off their excess stores.
One of the big things plaguing small business is rent costs, especially as property values have increased to the point that many landlords go out of their way to evict small businesses by raising rents to the point that they can no longer afford them. Just as there have been many incentives over the years to enable people of modest means to be able to own their own homes, perhaps it is time to provide similar incentives to small businesses to be able to own the land their business sits on, so they would not be at the mercy of greedy landlords.
It has been well known that wholesalers and suppliers give huge price breaks to large corporations that individual stores cant get. Therefore, the loophole should be closed with limits on how much discount can be given to large retailers over small ones. This is why, true or not, there is so much public perception that prices are so much lower at large chain stores over smaller ones.
There should also be an end to corporate personhood. This would be a giant step toward limiting excessive corporate power.
And there is something the citizenry can do as well, and that is to try to convince the big retailers that we are not a one size fits all world, as they would very much like us to believe. You go in one of their stores, and you can for the most part say you have been in them all. Most of the time the manager of a corporate store does not have the liberty to be able to order items their customers want unless it is on a headquarters approved list.
These steps would go a long way toward making the retail environment more equitable.

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Myrtle HahnBy:
Petition target:
US Congress


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