Have you been thinking that the monopolization of just about every industry in America is somehow inherently wrong?
Are you tired of voluntarily financially supporting the oligarchy?
Have you decided to support small (even mom and pop) businesses?
But there's one big issue holding you back; you're caught up in the machine? You know who the big companies are, because they spend millions on advertising. And you know that some of those small businesses are small because they're lousy. So, you spend your money with the big mediocre companies because you don't want to deal with the bad ones. In time, most everyone herds to the big companies. And eventually, there are no small companies left to do business with. We have to face the reality that we are a part of the problem.
At least for some industries, it doesn't have to be that way. The service and travel industries still have small and mom and pop businesses. All you have to do is figure out whom to do business with.
...I know. What a strange name for a website that ultimately could help us save capitalism.
Of course, the answer to our problem is both simple and complicated. If we don't want to support big remotely owned companies that siphon off our local economy, all we have to do is support local businesses. But which ones?
In a nutshell, Yelp is a referral system. We submit the reviews. We share our knowledge of local businesses. If the big business chains stand out, and are far better than the local businesses; the reviewers will tell you. But much of the time, at least one local business is the best.
When we travel, the point is to get out. So, why go to the same old place in a different location? For example; here in Ely there is a McDonald's. It gets tons of business from travelers, who are too scared to take a chance on local mom and pop restaurants. But with Yelp, travelers can check to see the reviews of the local non-corporate food. One of the highest rated restaurants here is the Twin Wok (locally owned and operated by authentic orientals). Twin Wok is almost across the street from McDonald's. So it isn't out of the way. And they serve a lunch buffet, which is even faster than fast food.
But until travelers had Yelp, they didn't know.