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St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco
  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

Op Ed

 

Big Corporations vs. Small Business

Thomas Young ’17
Contributing Editor

Over the past few decades, we have seen the gap between large corporations and small businesses grow larger.  Now, corporations such as Target, Starbucks, and Safeway are intruding into areas where small businesses have controlled most of the neighborhood capital for generations. There are advantages to both small businesses and large corporations.  Large businesses require a larger workforce and thus, create more jobs for the unemployed.  They also have a much stronger sense of public image, therefore winning over more of the population.  By alluring more customers, they produce more profit and higher sales.  One anonymous freshman said, “Large businesses have loyal customers who help them stay afloat.  They also have more resources which help them create a better product.”  However, large businesses often lose touch with their customers by becoming too enveloped in advertising and maintaining their external appearance.  Charles Kieser ’14 stated, “Cooperations such as Starbucks and Safeway create jobs for a small amount of time. However many local businesses will go under, and they [big corporations] don’t care at all about tradition and family.”

I will not play the cliché hipster and state that salvation for the customer is found only in over-priced local coffee shops and “mom and pop” thrift stores.  Nevertheless, it is also important to recognize the advantages of a small business.  Many of us have never even heard of small establishments such as San Francisco’s Pirate Supply Store or Seattle’s Hot Tub Boats.  However, it has been said that small businesses are the backbone for the “new” economy, but why?  To answer this question, consider the analogy of a boxer; the small business being a young, agile fighter, and the large business being an aging, out of shape boxer who is using outdated techniques.  Both are boxers, and both are adequate competitors.  Yet, one has a distinct advantage.  The young boxer can adjust quickly to his environment, whereas the aging boxer will have trouble adapting and continue to use his outdated methods.  Of course, the young boxer will win the fight.  Today, many of the old giants of business are calling on innovative modern-day entrepreneurs who start out with small businesses and grow as they become successful.  Sears, which has existed for well over a century, is falling to the 101 year younger Amazon.com.  Amazon offers a more diverse inventory, which is greater in numbers, and comes with lower prices.  In addition, Sears must employ a larger workforce at its distribution centers as well as in its stores, whereas Amazon is strictly an online store and requires a much smaller workforce.  In conclusion, going back to the original question, agile small businesses are the backbone of the “new” economy, because they pave the way for new innovative products and business models.

Posted by on Tuesday December, 10, 2013

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