Local businesses concerned about Oakland's boycott

May 5, 2010 12:12:32 PM PDT
Just a day after the city of Oakland voted to boycott Arizona, local business owners are concerned they will be hurt by the action.

The big corporations who are targeted in the boycott in Arizona have independently owned franchises in Oakland and throughout the Bay Area.

Rashid Kahin owns a U-Haul franchise on Broadway in Oakland and opposes Arizona's immigration law, but he's concerned he might be a victim of guilt by association; in other words when people see U-Haul, they may think of the Phoenix based corporation, instead of this family man's small business.

"As a business owner I don't know what they are going to accomplish by doing that, because this is going to hurt the small business guys. I mean I'm not in Arizona, I'm not doing business in Arizona, I'm doing business in Oakland, so boycotting me is like boycotting the small business guy," said Kahin.

The other half of Kahin's building is rented by Precision Auto Service and if the boycott hurts Kahin, the hurt could trickle down to owner Greg Williams.

"If they're going to boycott that they think we are both affiliated and really we are not, what we really do is split the rent, he does U-Haul and I do auto repair," said Williams.

But Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner, one of the sponsors of the boycott, says the ends justify the means.

"There may be some people who are hurt for a short period of time, but if we really want Arizona to stop, and we do because we don't this to spread throughout the country, it may be that some people get economically hurt," said City Council President Jane Brunner.

Brunner said boycotts work and this one will too. But will the average citizen join the city in this boycott?

"I actually probably would after researching about the companies first, because I know some of them have Arizona's name on it but then they are based in the East Coast," said Walnut Creek resident Eileen Maramba.

"It is a very complicate issue, so it has to be looked at with a little bit larger frame of mind then that," said Berkeley resident Keith Morris.

You need to be careful what you are boycotting for example on some of the lists are Kragen Auto Parts, which was purchased by O'Reilly Auto Parts, which is in Illinois. Kragen was based in Phoenix.


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