Q&A – How Many Small Businesses Have Been Lost W/Amazon’s Success? Pt. 1

Today’s entry: In response to my recent commentary discussing Amazon’s role in eliminating small businesses, there was no more destruction of local businesses than was caused by Home Depot and Lowes.

Bottom Line: Earlier this week Amazon outlined their latest expansion plans in South Florida. This includes the current construction of a one-million square foot warehouse currently under construction in Palm Beach County. The conversation of two warehouses in Pompano Beach into delivery stations and their effort to buy 61 acres of land owned by Broward County is also in the works. This is on top of their already significant footprint across the state. In fact, with over 30,000 employees statewide, Amazon is now the 20th largest employer in Florida. Two years ago, Amazon wasn’t even a top 50 employer in our state. 

Now, Amazon’s enormous success in our state hasn’t been without other businesses suffering the brunt of their success. There are literally thousands of retail businesses that have closed in Florida this year alone and while some of the victims have been previously big businesses like Florida-based Stein-Mart, many more have been small businesses.

As I’ve mentioned every time I’ve discussed this topic, I don’t fault Amazon. Bezos built a better mousetrap and the free market responded. At the same time, I’ve discussed the hypocrisy in news media/the left’s treatment of Amazon compared to Wal-Mart during the height of their powers as the world’s largest retailer. Whereas Wal-Mart's expansion was commonly met with stories of how they destroy local businesses and communities, while underpaying employees, yadda – yadda, Amazon’s expansion plans are near-universally lauded as making your life better. 

If you’re an Amazon acolyte, that may true. Especially during a pandemic in which you may be reluctant to shop in stores. If you’ve owned a local retail business or worked for one, that’s almost certainly not the case. That matters because small businesses account for just about half of all jobs and two-thirds of new jobs created. As for your statement that Amazon hasn’t done more to disrupt small businesses than Home-Depot and Lowes, here’s the overall market value of each of the companies discussed:

  • Lowes: $111 billion
  • Home-Depot: $292 billion
  • Wal-Mart: $427 billion
  • Amazon: $1.6 Trillion

Amazon is literally larger than Lowes, Home-Depot and Wal-Mart combined and multiplied by two. There’s no bigger beneficiary of the past two recessions than Amazon and no bigger loser than small businesses. 

Submit your questions using one of these methods.

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Getty Images

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