TO THE EDITOR:
Another Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Chapel Hill, but the news doesn’t taste as sweet, knowing that it’s a global chain.
I understand the excitement. After all, most Americans — including myself — gladly welcome fried dough. However, although this location is regionally franchised, it doesn’t change the fact that large chains are detrimental to local businesses and don’t add to downtown Chapel Hill’s vibrant community and culture.
Local coffee and doughnut shops such as Rise Biscuits Donuts, Caffe Driade and Joe Van Gogh are prevalent in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area. Some are individual establishments and others are local chains, but each will be affected by this addition — and so will the community.
For instance, small businesses typically recirculate spending by purchasing local goods and services, but many chains use non-local suppliers. A study conducted by Civic Economics found that independent and locally owned restaurants, on average, return over two times as much revenue to the community as national restaurant chains. By patronizing large chains, one’s money is effectively leaving the local economy, which, cyclically, hurts other community-based businesses.
Beyond the numerous financial reasons, local businesses simply provide a unique, personal atmosphere. I realize Dunkin’ Donuts has Munchkins and candy-flavored “swirls.” However, Rise Biscuits Donuts makes creme brulee doughnuts, Caffe Driade has a patio amidst the trees and Joe Van Gogh features global coffee blends. Furthermore, they’re local, and it’s crucial that we support these businesses and others like them.
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