Does anybody really believe that Wal-Mart and Best Buy are concerned about businesses being good members of the community? Pahleeze. It's about competition. Wal-Mart arm twists and takes advantage of every bit of corporate welfare they can squeeze out of communities, up to and including convincing the Chattanooga City Council to violate a protective environmental easement and destroy a wetland to build yet another eyesore big box. Our community gave away our children's education to entice Volkswagen to build here. This is not about fairness; it's about one giant arm-wrestling another one, with no regard for the peasants who get crushed in the fight.
And please explain how building an Amazon fulfillment center here will threaten local small businesses? The entire gist of the legal argument is that there will be no storefront for customers to walk in and buy merchandise. We will still have to buy from Amazon the same way we do now: online. Online purchasing affords the customer time to price shop and think, which reduces the opportunity for Amazon to take advantage of buyer impulse, whereas Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and yes, even Fish Mania, have the advantage of offering their goods on site, where they can use live salespersons and sensory stimulation to persuade customers to make impulse purchases. They also have the advantage of providing instant gratification rather than the wait that online shoppers must endure. If your iron stops working, you can't wait a week for non-wrinkled clothes, you need it today. Amazon can't compete with that. Bricks-and-mortar retailers have advantages over online sellers that put them in a different category. They are not always in direct competition.
If Amazon builds here, they take advantage of services while collecting no revenue for the state. If they don't, we lose potential jobs. Either way, we common folk will lose something in the battle of the Titan retailers. "Main Street Fairness" is just another boring front for a consortium of big boxes with a few local retailers thrown in for window dressing, created to get you and me worked up enough to waste our energy defending them. I don't know about you, but unless they put me on their payroll with benefits and a big fat salary, I'm not lobbying for Wal-Mart.