I like to frequent local businesses whenever possible, in part because this is a habit that my parents forced me into at a young age.
They hammered into my brain the idea that small businesses in one’s community are always superior to large chains on an ethical and moral level.
Sadly, these values are continually eroded when I have bad experiences with mom and pop style companies that are no better than the most ruthless venture capitalists raking in billions of dollars. You can be middle class and still be a relentless thief with your customers. One time a local pharmacist tried to steal a prescription of mine that was a few days worth of pain medicine following an overnight trip to the hospital with a kidney stone. They confirmed it wasn’t appendicitis and gave me lots of fluid and a special medication that stimulates your urinary system. I had to get the police involved and they confiscated his security camera hard drives, and I was surprised to learn he was dumb enough to record himself in the act. What made me even more amazed was learning that they found incriminating evidence of 15 other incidences of medicine theft. He was stripped of his license and arrested immediately. Now I get all of my medicine at a local grocery store that also has a pharmacy at the front like many chain grocery stores. I was sad when they had to close for a day recently to handle HVAC repairs throughout the whole building. Their heating and cooling systems were already 25 years old at that point and insurance companies will force you to change them or will void your coverage.