Jeff Luster: Local franchises

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I felt I needed to respond to some statements that were made in the Sound Off section of the June 12 Pilot & Today. One reader wrote, "I don't believe in franchise businesses. I would rather spend my money with downtown businesses." Another wrote, "I will never shop at Wildhorse. I believe in supporting the local community shops, the people who actually have and do live here." I think there is a misunderstanding about the difference between a company-owned business and a franchise.

A company-owned business, such as Wal-Mart, City Market, Safeway or Kmart, has a board of directors in some other city and may hire local employees to manage the store, and they must answer to that board.

A franchise, such as our Subway, McDonalds, Wendy's, Quiznos or Ben & Jerry's, is locally owned and operated. The owners have bought the rights to those businesses. Whether you decide to support these businesses, you at least should know whose pocket you are putting money into. I would rather buy a sandwich at one of the fast-food places than buy a 10-cent item at a national company whose profits do not stay in the community.

Jeff Luster

Steamboat Springs

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