I appreciated very much Mountain Xpress’ coverage of the situation at Sitel [“Unprecedented,” Aug. 1 Xpress]. The Sitel unionizing highlights the need to support local ownership of business that is built on local relationships, communication and accountability.
Local-business owners, who are rooted in their localities, are naturally inclined to treat their workers better, provide living wages, use environmentally sound business practices and give back to their communities by volunteering and donating to local causes. Instead of focusing only on profits, local businesses engage in triple-bottom-line thinking that benefits the social, economic and environmental dimensions of communities.
Additionally, local businesses typically enhance the multiplier effect of money circulation. The American Independent Business Alliance describes this benefit of local businesses: Typically, local independent businesses re-circulate a much greater percentage of sales locally compared to absentee-owned businesses (or most locally owned franchises). This reduces the leakage of profits outside of the community, thereby increasing local wealth. By expanding the range and scale of locally based businesses in our region, we can avoid the types of worker abuse that is on display at Sitel.
— Brett Sculthorp
Center for Local Economies