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How does the perks of working in a large tech company affecting local businesses?

Asked Berkeley, California

For example, a lot of them offer free meals and coffee. In the Bay Area, where the rent is sky high, how are the local eateries being effected? #business #technology #tech

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G. Mark’s Answer


As with any situation in a free enterprise society, businesses compete in order to entice the most customers and make the most people happy. Large tech companies tend to have benefits to attract the best employees. In one of my first jobs, we had not only outstanding health and other benefits, but free education, recreation facilities, a stockroom with just about anything you could need, and a purchasing department that would buy things you need that weren't available in that stockroom. Nowadays, these sorts of things are far limited due to streamlining of businesses and cutting costs and the dissolution of monopolies that could afford that sort of expenditure. But perks in large companies still tend to be pretty significant. The affect on local business is two-fold. First, local businesses tend to be much smaller with tighter budgets than large tech companies. The large companies' perks will put more financial pressure on the local businesses to offer competitive benefits. But some folks simply prefer to work at those smaller companies or simply didn't get hired by the larger firms. In other words, in order to compete, every business needs to be creative. The other effect is that large tech companies employ lots of people, and those people will often do business with those local businesses. The end result is that the economic conditions of the local area tend to improve. This is the essence of capitalism. The way to get capital is to do something other people will pay you for voluntarily. That sort of system forces us all to be very conscious of keeping other people happy. And that's a very good thing overall.

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