Friday, April 07, 2006

No Starbucks on Nantucket

For the past dozen or so years, my family and I have spent part of our summers on the island of Nantucket. So this news article in today's Boston Globe caught my eye:

Island says no to chain stores downtown

Without a word of discussion or debate this week, Nantucket Town Meeting voters banned retail stores and restaurants owned by national chains from their quaint downtown of brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets. The ban is believed to be the most sweeping exclusion of chain businesses to date in Massachusetts, according to island officials.
Question for Ec 10 students: Is this a good policy? You might wonder about the motivation. Is it aimed at maintaining the quaint ambiance of the island, or protecting local merchants from competition? Or both?

A little more from the Boston Globe:

The chain-store ban was proposed by bookstore owner Wendy Hudson, who said yesterday she was stunned it did not generate more criticism at the two-day Town Meeting.
And what do residents think?

Several residents who said they supported the ban on chains lamented yesterday that a Starbucks coffee shop had not opened on Nantucket before the new rule was enacted.