Despite widespread local opposition, CVS will apparently be coming to Ptown. Even though the deal was worked out with town counsel, let’s not kid ourselves: it’s another victory of a big, nonlocal company over a small town and its sense, expressed in a bylaw, of what’s good for it.
According to a quote of the Town Manager, citizens should be happy with this deal because by settling with CVS the town has saved its bylaw. But the main point of the bylaw is to keep mega, nonlocal corporations from diluting the town’s “soul,” as it has been referred to, and hurting local business. (In this case, the local business that will be most impacted is a vital local service, Outer Cape Health.) The key provision of the bylaw is its application to formulaic companies of 10 or more clones. CVS, which has 9600 stories worldwide, is of course a formula business and no amount of toning down of signage can change that.
Saving the bylaw by allowing CVS to break it makes no sense.
Last summer the following passionately worded petition, signed by 1275 people, was sent to CVS executives:
Tell CVS: We Won’t Shop at a Provincetown Store
Dear CVS Leadership Team:
We, the residents of, and visitors to Provincetown, Massachusetts want to send you a clear, unambiguous message: We do not want a CVS in our town, and we will not shop at it.
A CVS would violate the 2010 Formula Business Bylaw, passed at Town Meeting, which was designed to prevent chain stores from gaining further ground here. Chain stores destroy the visual, cultural, end economic engine of this town: Its unique character. That is our brand. That is why people visit here.
In addition, and VERY importantly, your pharmacy would endanger the financial health of our only primary care option in Provincetown: the nonprofit, federally qualified health center, Outer Cape Health Services. CEO Patricia Nadle, as quoted in the Provincetown Banner on June 2, said that the health center’s pharmacy generates nearly 50 percent of its revenue. The pharmacy underwrites much of the health center’s services, which operate at a loss. A CVS would decimate Outer Cape.
Everyone in Provincetown would lose. CVS would enrich its bottom line at the expense of the health and economy of our town. Its presence would generate animosity from the outset.
At the June 15, 2017 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, more than 20 residents spoke against the proposal. None voiced support. Of the 40 letters read, 35 expressed opposition.
We don’t want a CVS in Provincetown. We will fight you, and we will boycott your store. You have already lost the support of the public in Provincetown.
We urge you to abandon your plans to create an outpost here.
Sincerely, the following residents of and visitors to Provincetown:
Obviously, they weren’t impressed. Maybe we need more signatures? Maybe they don’t take the threat seriously.Has there been followup on this effort?
A serious boycott can defeat CVS. It has happened elsewhere.