Locally Owned Stores Are Better of the Local Economy than Big Chain Stores

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John Gatto, a resident of Portreo Hill, used to shop in the Castro neighborhood, but now many of his favorite stores are gone.
“When retail goes, so does the neighborhood,” said Gatto, a longtime visitor. “You cannot have a viable neighborhood without a local business.”
Gatto is one of many residents and visitors who say that franchises like CVS and Whole Foods are changing the neighborhood’s unique atmosphere. However, some residents and city officials say they are generating more jobs and money to the area.
After being vacant for the past five years, the lot on Market Street where Tower Records once resided is finally being put to use. The city’s planning commission approved a proposal back in May to build a CVS pharmacy. The store plans to open sometime next year despite resident and business owner protests against large chain stores.
It has been a tough couple of years for the old Tower Records storefront and for many franchises looking to build in the Castro. Chain stores like Trader Joe’s and Chipotle planned on coming in, but Castro residents kicked them out in June aft...

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