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I agree but I think regardless of profitability keeping small/medium businesses around is not just the for the longevity bragging rights. Some of these businesses preserve arts, techniques, handcrafts, recipes etc that might have otherwise been lost. And there is something to be said for street level neighborhood character created by these stores.

Something but...what?

Tge street-level character of a city isn't magically preserved because the acquiring company chose to retain the name. Example: I live near a sushi restaurant that has changed hands six times in my life. Two times they kept the name. One time they kept the facade. Never did they keep the employees. Maybe a token "manager" but the character of the place always shifts.

I like the metaphor because it really does ask the question "how much must one replace to make something indistinguishable from its progenitor?"

These are not the businesses we're looking for.

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