Ziel: Why live in FoCo if you don’t support local business?

Renee Ziel

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

When one first arrives in Fort Collins, the amount of small businesses may be staggering. Fort Collins is well known for championing local business and entrepreneurship, evident in the many that call FoCo home. But large corporations have set up shop here too.


The local Chick-fil-A is located on South College Avenue, and the Georgia-based company is known for its contentious views on the LGBTQ+ community. Since founder Samuel Truett Cathy is a Baptist, the chain’s opinions stem from the biblical emphasis on the traditional family model.

Due to our generation’s inclusivity-fueled inclination to boycott Chick-fil-A, some people do so because it’s seen as trendy. Others are missing the point.

If you complain about or boycott Chick-fil-A, you should also be protesting other problematic corporations, whether it’s because you support local business, are an advocate of equality or both.

Some organizations in the same anti-LGBTQ+ realm as Chick-fil-A are Urban Outfitters, the Boy Scouts of America, oil company Exxon and pet subsidiary Purina. Household names AT&T, Comcast, Home Depot, FedEx and Verizon all donated millions to anti LGBTQ+ politicians.

There are also many corporations that contribute to the hypersexualization and discrimination against women, including Hooters, American Apparel, Walmart, Abercrombie & Fitch and Carl’s Jr., which is also anti LGBTQ+.

It’s also well known that huge corporations tend to harm the environment, which is why some people who support small businesses do so in the first place. According to EcoWatch, some of the largest companies that contribute to plastic pollution include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé.

As for companies who have poor safety regulations for their workers, EHSToday put together a slideshow that names Amazon, Dine Brands Global (IHOP and Applebee’s), Lowe’s and Tesla.

As if there weren’t already benefits to supporting small businesses, there is no excuse not to when living in Fort Collins.

By no means does the list stop there. However, one may be able to deduce that the problem lies with huge corporations. In the view of those who support small business, they have been ahead of the game for a while. In fact, evidence shows small businesses are simply better.

A study by Baylor University shows U.S. counties with high concentrations of small businesses have healthier people, which means lower mortality rates and less obesity. Going local also contributes heavily to job growth and innovation.

Furthermore, as Fort Collins is already an increasingly eco-friendly town, data from 2012 saying that many small businesses are going green is even more profound today.


As if there weren’t already benefits to supporting small businesses, there is no excuse not to when living in Fort Collins.

Generation Z is the most educated generation yet to be entering the job market, and as students in such a thriving town, there is no reason for someone to only partially champion a social issue like boycotting non-progressive conglomerates.

We live in a world where both the media and our government is questioned on the basis of truth — being honest, transparent and having genuine good intention are traits that should be valued by others and yourself. This goes for impactful stances such as supporting more personable, sustainable and forward-thinking businesses right in town.

Renee Ziel can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @reneezwrites.