Residents and businesses in Oban are taking on a national coffee franchise which hopes to open an outlet in the town.
Costa Coffee wants to open a shop in the former Whisky Shop in Station Square and is already advertising for a store manager with a £20,000 salary.
Early indications from Argyll and Bute Council planners show they are likely to recommend that councillors approve the application.
Council road officers had intended to object, but the company amended its application to accommodate concerns about the use of the pavement. A second detailed application to the council has now been submitted.
But Donna MacCulloch, owner of Roxy’s cafe in Argyll Square, said: “It is difficult. We do want the town to grow but we are worried about would impact it will have.
“We don’t know what impact it will have on small businesses. We have a small amount of staff, we use local produce as much as we can, when big companies come along (and take our business) we don’t buy as much local produce, so it affects local producers too.
“Big companies buy from outside. I just feel that a corporate company like that can suck up the town.
“Who are we to say? It could be good for Oban but we have concerns like many small businesses. We would like the town to grow and prosper, but at what price? I would hate to see businesses close down.”
Oban Community Council has indicated it will object to the plans.
A statement from the group said noise and outside seating made plans unacceptable. It added: “If this application is granted then it is likely that other chains will use the precedent to change the use of the other units.”
A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council said: “Due to the July recess, it is likely that this application will go to the planning, protective services and licensing committee meeting in August, although the agenda for that meeting is yet to be finalised and won’t be confirmed until a later date.”
No-one from Costa was available for comment.