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Photo: A Walmart Neighborhood Market.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Walter Wuthmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2015

Walmart Is Quietly Going on a Massive Building Spree

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/walmart-quietly-massive-building-spree/

Having used its supercenters to capture one-quarter of U.S. grocery sales, Walmart is building a new wave of smaller stores that are poised to clean up the market share its supercenters don’t already control. Continue reading

Map: Walmart Square Footage per person in 2014.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2015

New Maps Show Alarming Pace of Walmart’s Continued Growth

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/alarming-pace-walmarts-continued-growth/

Walmart continues to expand, and rapidly. The company is now embarking on its third historic wave of store construction, with plans to build 440 to 460 “Neighborhood Market” stores over a two year period, presumably with many hundreds more to follow. There is a critical debate to be had right now about whether a company that already captures one-quarter of U.S. grocery sales should be allowed to grow to control one-third, or even half, of our food supply. Continue reading

Photo: Plastic bags at Walmart checkout line.
Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2015

Walmart’s New Green Product Label Is the Most Misleading Yet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/walmarts-misleading-green-product-label/

The Sustainability Leaders badge is straight out of Walmart’s 10-year-old greenwashing playbook. Once again, Walmart has engineered an appealing media story about itself as a green innovator that has little to do with reality. Continue reading

SCOTUS
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Mar 4, 2015

At U.S. Supreme Court, an Invitation to Reconsider Internet Sales Tax Ruling

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/us-supreme-court-invitation-reconsider-internet-sales-tax-ruling/

After years of fighting for a federal fix for the online sales tax loophole, this week, advocates for e-fairness gained a new ally: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Continue reading

filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 25, 2015

Customer Cooperatives

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/customer-cooperative/

One way that residents of a community can jointly capitalize a new local business is by starting a cooperative, a business that is owned by its member-customers, who provide the necessary capital in the form of member dues, govern the business democratically, and receive a share of any surplus or profits. Continue reading

filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 25, 2015

Commercial Community Land Trust

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/commercial-community-land-trust/

Community land trusts are best known for a pioneering approach to affordable housing, but some neighborhoods are exploring their commercial potential. Continue reading

filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 25, 2015

Community-owned Stores

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/community-owned-store/

Another approach to community ownership of commercial spaces is to create a community-owned store that is structured as a local stock corporation. There are at least a dozen examples of these around the country. One of the best-known is the Powell Mercantile in Powell, Wyoming. Founded in 2002, this profitable downtown department store is owned by about 800 local families who capitalized the business by buying shares priced at $500 each. Continue reading

Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 25, 2015

Investment Cooperatives

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/investment-cooperatives/

In the vacuum left by traditional economic development and Wall Street’s approach to finance, investment cooperatives allow communities to put their capital to work in their local economy, catalyze the creation of new jobs, re-imagine their neighborhoods, and earn a return on their investment. Continue reading

Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 24, 2015

Community Ownership of Commercial Spaces

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/

Community ownership of commercial spaces offers benefits that include new jobs in the neighborhood, strong incentives for people to shop locally, local sources for key goods, closer ties with neighbors, and in some cases, a return on investment. Continue reading

Photo: Open Streets in northeast Minneapolis.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 23, 2015

The Do-It-Yourselves Downtown

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/do-it-yourselves-downtown-investment-cooperative-model/

In the vacuum left by both traditional economic development and Wall Street’s approach to finance, community real estate investment cooperatives offer a glimpse of a better way to channel capital, with benefits that include new jobs in the neighborhood, strong incentives for people to shop locally, local sources for key goods, closer ties with neighbors, and a return on investment. Continue reading