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Kim MacQueen — Downtown Asheville champion, resident and business-owner — offers her arguments why downtown needs locally owned businesses rather than big-box stores.
Locally owned business, she says in a Citizen-Times op-ed today: provide unique local flavor, keep more money local, garner more sales than nonlocal average stores and make more charitable contributions.
“With 70 independently-owned restaurants, several hundred independently-owned shops and boutiques, 2,000 residents and about 3 million visitors each year, downtown Asheville has become a leading visitor attraction in Western North Carolina…”
Downtown “has been proven to fuel the economy, and it needs continued support,” she writes.