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Editorial | Davis does not need another chain

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 01:01

While politicians across the country discuss the importance of small businesses, the battle between mom−and−pop eateries and multinational franchises rages on in Davis Square.

In the near future, Tufts students have the option to select from not one, not two, but three frozen yogurt shops in Davis Square alone. A petition was filed to bring the frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry to Davis Square on the website iPetitions.com. After two previous attempts to expand into Davis, the Pinkberry chain is once again attempting to open up shop less than 500 feet away from two existing frozen yogurt stores: locally owned iYo Cafe and the national chain Orange Leaf.

If Pinkberry were allowed to open a store in Davis Square, it could spell disaster for the other two yogurt shops, specifically iYo Cafe, which is a small business. Small businesses employ over 65 percent of the private sector in the United States and almost half of the population of Massachusetts.

There is no need for three shops peddling the same product, and there is especially not any sort of need for two frozen yogurt chains in Davis Square.

Although Davis has many local businesses, larger corporations such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Chipotle, Dunkin Donuts, Buffalo Exchange and now possibly Pinkberry are taking away from the square’s history of entrepreneurship and culinary individualism, not to mention the appeal of its small−town atmosphere. Local businesses like Redbones BBQ or Diesel Cafe could find themselves pitted against these establishments. An overly saturated market could lead to consumer disillusionment.

While Davis Square may no longer feel “quaint,” with a looming Boston Fitness Company surrounded by other franchises like CVS, allowing big businesses to rival local counterparts often spells disaster for small businesses, hurting our local communities. If Tufts students are serious about preserving local delicacies and small businesses, they must keep their Blue Zones close, and their froyo closer.

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