The Value of Small Business Reading Questions

The Oldenburg and the Zukin readings offer a couple of arguments why certain types of small businesses matter. The Benediktsson readings allude to others. All of the authors view these businesses as threatened by various forces. After reading these, feel free to respond however you wish, or look to one or more of the following questions for inspiration:

  • Which argument do you see as more compelling – Oldenburg’s or Zukin’s? Why?
  • Can you think of a “third place” that roughly meets Oldenburg’s criteria? Describe it and tell us about what it does for the surrounding community? Is it a “leveler”? Is it a “home away from home?” What role does it play in the lives of its patrons?
  • Benediktsson and Zukin talk about some of the threats to small, independently owned businesses. Have you seen any of these forces at work? Have small independently owned businesses in your neighborhood gone out of business or relocated? Do you know why?

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