Many people worked hard to co-create the vibrant, active Downtown Asheville we know today. Over multiple decades, dedicated business owners, property owners, artists, musicians, employees, dreamers, residents, and visitors laid the groundwork for our successful little downtown business district. Residents as well as guests recognize Asheville as reliably one-of-kind. It is why so many people have chosen to visit, as well as why so many return and/or stay.
Allowing large chain and formula stores downtown will eliminate the unique appeal at the core of Asheville's identity. These types of businesses will erode what we value as a community and patina our image of a city that supports small business.
It is a fact that large corporate chain stores take their profits out of the community, while much of locally owned business money is returned directly to the local economy. Many small and locally owned businesses pay a better wage than chains. Many of these businesses can afford to run a location at a loss in order to maintain their presence in a desired community. They are able to pay from 100-1000 percent more than market rates, driving up rental and property values. There isn't a small independent business anywhere who can compete with that.