Jumpin Jack’s

On the southeast corner of 16th street and Baseline Rd, sits a food and liquor store plus gas station.  Just across the street, constructions of a new corporate chained CVS food and drug store and a Texaco gas station are near completion.  Jumpin Jack’s Food and Liquor Gas Station is a modest corner market commonly seen in the densely populated parts of the urban landscape.  The owner, of Middle Eastern origins, is behind the counter ringing up the customers in line.  When I asked about his thoughts on the new developments in the area, he seemed apathetic at first.  Then, with a look of excitement he seemed pleased at the thought of an increase in potential customers in the area.  It seemed as if he was oblivious to the construction site of the apparent tag-team competitors (CVS, Texaco) across the street.  When asked about his thoughts on the competitors moving in across the street, he expressed concern for his business. “That’s not good for business,” said the owner with a grimace on his face. 

As more people from around the country and south of the border flow into this city, the demand for goods and services along with housing increases,  As in the case of South Phoenix, there has been a boom in the real estate development both residential and commercial. A newly constructed and operating strip mall sits a few blocks away from Jumpin Jack’s next to newly built communities already fully occupied.  As developments of new strip malls and corporate chain stores take over the landscape of South Phoenix, the variety of small privately owned marketplaces and novelty shops may be threatened.  With big businesses moving in and corporately funded projects aimed at monopolizing the goods and services in an area, how are small businesses going to fight for their survival?   

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