The world's biggest retailer, often blamed for driving mom-and-pop stores out of business, said it would offer business development grants to nearby companies and give them free in-store advertising as part of a new economic development program.Free money and information on how best to succeed in the same markets as Wal-Mart? That doesn't sound like the picture of the evil, community squashing, corporate giant PARD has painted in the media over the past year. They've also come under fire from PARD for their willingness to develop new land, and the possibility of one day leaving a hideous, empty building to scar our landscape. Of the 50 new stores the article discusses, however:
Wal-Mart will also hold seminars for minority and women-owned business owners on how to become Wal-Mart suppliers, as well as seminars for all surrounding small businesses on how to compete in a community with a Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart said it will open more than 50 stores over the next two years in neighborhoods with high unemployment, on sites that are environmentally contaminated, or in vacant buildings or malls in need of revitalization.I don't hold a Ph.D in Chinese, nor am I an expert in deer mating, but this sounds like awfully socially conscious and responsible behavior to me.