Got Blight? Get Wal-Mart

Today WM announced

it would open more than 50 stores in distressed areas and help small business around those locations thrive once the discount chain moves in. 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. 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.

Article here. There are other ways WM could build community support, say by refusing to participate in eminent domain abuses like this:

Alabaster, Ala., voted to condemn a church in August 2003 for the benefit of Colonial Properties Trust, which planned to build a 400-acre retail development anchored by Wal-Mart.

More here.