According to a report by American Express OPEN:
Neighborhoods with thriving independent businesses saw home values outperform citywide markets by 50 percent over the last 14 years.
Based on the Independent We Stand Home Value Calculator:
In the New York Metro area, the average home value would have increased 176% or $291,672 to $457,672 from 1997 to 2011 if it was located near a successful independent business district.
And according to a national study by sociologists at LSU and Baylor University:
Counties and parishes with a greater concentration of small, locally-owned businesses have healthier populations — with lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes — than do those that rely on large companies with “absentee” owners.
Given these facts, why do governments at all levels (local, state, and federal) continue to subsidize large corporations? As David Cay Johnston writes in an Al Jazeera America article:
State and local governments have awarded at least $110 billion in taxpayer subsidies to business, with 3 of every 4 dollars going to fewer than 1,000 big corporations, the most thorough analysis to date of corporate welfare revealed today.
Federal, state and local governments publish exhaustively detailed statistical reports on welfare to the poor, disabled, sick, elderly and other individuals who cannot support themselves. The cost of subsidized food, housing and medical care are all documented at government expense, with the statistics posted on government websites.
But corporate welfare is not the subject of any comprehensive reporting at the federal level. Disclosures by state and local governments vary greatly, from substantial to nearly nonexistent.
[A] critical aspect of improving the U.S. economy is actually improving the small business economy and making it easier to start a business and to grow small businesses.