OPA! Mariano’s invading Greektown

Shoppers who enjoy a great experience at grocery stores and finding international products can look forward to new expansion of Mariano’s in Greektown.  In a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Bob Mariano, owner of the Mariano grocery chain, unveiled a new plan to open up the new store in the Halsted area.  The plan would be to open up the 71,132 sq. ft. store at 40 S. Halsted that would include a walk in beer cooler, where customers could make their own craft beer 6-pack, a classroom kitchen, a gelato cafe with bar included, energy efficient water and electrical systems and a parking lot that could fit 150 spaces.  Opening up such a store could create as close to 450 jobs.

In the state the economy is in, I think opening up the store can have both good and bad effects.  The upside would be the creation of jobs and added attention to an already diminishing Greektown area.  It could put that area on the map for diversifying it’s client base and adding more revenue and attention to surrounding businesses.  The downsides include, taking business away from the small specialty shops that have been in the area for years.  Along with that, Greektown has gotten smaller by the years.  With people not having money to spend on local businesses, this area will just be known as one that once housed the greatest Chicago Greek community.

A few questions to think about.  Do you shop at Mariano’s?  What effects do you think it will have on the overall economy?  Should Mariano’s choose a different area and leave Greektown alone?  How could this store be beneficial/disastrous for Greektown?


Time to Sail Away From the Entrepreneur Ship


When I get older, I want to be an entrepreuer, but it doesnt seem as appealing as it used to be back in 2006. Throughout the years, being your own boss hasn’t been working out for people as much as it used to, but the question is why? A lot of businesses cannot keep themselves running long enough to see the profits. When you want to stay open and don’t have the sufficient funds to pay for the cost of your business, you tend to make cuts, and the first cut most business owners make is hours of employees or the employee in general. As you can see from the graph shown above, job opportunities have been decreasing dramatically from 2006-2011. The main thing you would have to factor into this graph is simple: the economic recession. The recession made it a lot more difficult for job security, especially in small businesses. After the recession, people didnt have the money to make investments. A lot of Americans lost a lot of capital throughout the recession and quite frankly, many are scared to make investments not knowing if they will make a profit or not. People now a days do not have the money to invest like they used to in the past and you cannot blame them for not wanting to take the risk, can ya?

One factor I think people should consider when talking about job growth or loss is the size of the firm or business. More job opportunities are given by companies who are larger. My parents, for example, own a Rosati’s Pizza and they run the store quite differently than a California Pizza Kitchen. My parents need about 5 people to run the inside of the store and 3 delivery drivers, whereas, a CPK would need about 20 people to run the inside of the whole store (if not more) and have about 5-6 delivery drivers. You see, it all depends on the size of the company and of course, how well the business is doing itself.

I personally believe that even though there is a decline in job security and growth in the small business field, it is still not a bad route to go in. I believe that if you do your research on the company or fracnhise you believe to invest in, you will have a better chance of succeeding through these horrific stats. What do you guys think about the jobs created by small businesses? Would you want to own your own business?