The only way we all know to invest our money is to buy stocks of reputed company or buy an mutual fund. Where do these investment go? Even if it's an mutual fund if goes to some publicly funded & privately funded companies. Considering the loans given by banks to small businesses, the growth the local departmental stores is going to be pretty much small. There is no way small privately owned stores survive against the super market. Near by tea shops, groceries are no way compete against big companies against the prices the big stores offer or the promotions.
Sodexho pass, lot of us in IT industry use this to buy groceries or for lunch. This is simply going to benefit the bigger & well established stores to survive. And us only investing on stock market will lead either small stores or companies being acquired or close out.
I like my money grow itself investing in stocks or mutual fund but is it good as a whole? I think NO.