Wanting to improve a community with lower income residents is noble. But when a tech company decides to move into a community to improve its outlook, sometimes the opposite happens. Displacement and gentrification are constant issues both local areas and large, profitable corporations are looking to solve. Sometimes however, what makes a corporation successful can also hurt the community around it.
After reading a Wired article covering this very subjection, the main focus fell on the issue of tech campuses. The isolated tech village awards its employees with every available amenity possible to keep them at their job and increasing productivity. The issue with providing many amenities is the effect on the local community. Take lunch for example. If your company provided every type of lunch imaginable, there is little to no reason to visit a local shop and order from there. The offerings benefit the employees but not so much the surrounding area. As less money is spent on everyday needs such as food, laundry, and others, more money can be spent on houses, thus increasing the price of real estate in the surrounding area.
Although moving to a lower income residency may be a noble cause, its effects can end up benefiting no-one. In the city of Detroit, there is a big push to buy local products. Large businesses are always touting the amount of purchasing their spending with local suppliers and thus economically benefiting the community in which they are located in. This is a necessary feet that more businesses and communities should participate in. If you’re moving to an area, make sure the bulk of contracting opportunities are offered to its local citizens. Keep them involved with the purchasing process and push your employees to buy local as well (Quicken Loans in Detroit is a great example of this). Create targets for your employees and your small business programs. Improve those around you by purchasing things you need from local companies. This can and will go a long way.
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