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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

Photo: David Carr.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2015

Remembering David Carr, and His Writing on Monopoly Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/remembering-david-carr-writing-monopoly-power/

What will we do without David Carr, the brilliant media columnist at the New York Times who died last week? At ILSR, we will especially miss his writing on monopoly power, Amazon, and the book business. We’ve excerpted and linked to a few of his best recent pieces on those subjects. Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 11, 2015

Buoyed by Public Support, Independent Businesses Report Strong Sales Growth, National Survey Finds

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/2015-independent-business-survey-independent-businesses-report-strong-sales-growth/

Independent businesses saw strong sales growth in 2014 as more consumers embraced the “buy local” movement and ditched big companies in favor of supporting local retailers and small-scale producers, according to a large national survey released today. Continue reading

Photo: San Francisco.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 5, 2015

The Labor and Small Business Alliance Behind San Francisco’s Landmark Retail Workers Bill of Rights

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/labor-small-business-alliance-san-franciscos-landmark-retail-workers-bill-rights/

The political interests of labor and small business are often seen as pitted against each other — a perception corporate lobbyists work hard to perpetuate. But the two groups actually share broad common cause these days. Both stand to gain from building a more humane economy in which ruthless efficiency does not trump all else. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 4, 2015

ILSR Joins Independent Business Groups in Pushing for Disclosure of Corporate Subsidies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/ilsr-joins-independent-business-groups-pushing-disclosure-corporate-subsidies/

ILSR joined other members of the Advocates for Independent Business coalition in submitting a joint public comment letter in support of a landmark proposal to require local and state governments, as part of their financial reporting, to annually disclose the tax breaks and incentives they have provided to corporations in the name of economic development. Continue reading

Photo: Walmart Dark Cloud
Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Walter Wuthmann | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2014

Walmart is a Huge Consumer of Dirty Coal Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/walmart-huge-consumer-dirty-coal-energy/

Walmart has been strutting around decked out in solar panels lately. But look a little closer and this emperor’s outfit isn’t all that it appears to be. Only 3 percent of Walmart’s U.S. power is supplied by its renewable energy projects. Which begs the question: Where does the other 97 percent of Walmart’s power come from? Here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we decided to take a look. And what we found is a big, filthy mountain of coal.
Continue reading

Photo: Walmart store
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 20, 2014

New Report: Walmart’s Dirty Energy Secret

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/walmarts-dirty-energy-secret/

Walmart talks a lot of talk about its renewable energy initiatives, but a new ILSR report finds that all that hype is just slick greenwashing hiding the company’s massive coal consumption. In this first-of-its-kind analysis, ILSR calculated that Walmart is one of the nation’s largest users of coal-fired electricity. Despite pledging nearly a decade ago to shift to 100 percent renewable energy, Walmart today derives only 3 percent of its U.S. electricity from its renewable energy projects — far less than many small businesses and competing chains. Several national environmental leaders — including Michael Brune of Sierra Club, Bill McKibben of 350.org, and Jeremy Hays of Green For All — joined ILSR in releasing the study and calling for change. Continue reading

Image: Detail from infographic
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Nov 14, 2014

Get the Facts on Shopping Local for the Holidays with this Infographic

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/shopping-local-infographic/

Independent businesses are poised to draw more people this holiday season.  To illustrate the ways that local businesses are growing in popularity, delivering stronger economic returns, and expanding in numbers, the Advocates for Independent Business, a coalition of 14 groups coordinated by ILSR, put together this infographic. Continue reading

Photo - Beulah Drug in North Dakota
Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 5, 2014

In Big Win for Local Ownership, North Dakota Votes to Keep State’s Pharmacy Law

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/big-win-local-ownership-north-dakota-votes-states-pharmacy-law/

At North Dakota polls on Tuesday, local ownership was the winner. The state voted overwhelmingly to keep its forward-thinking Pharmacy Ownership Law, defeating Measure 7, the Walmart-funded effort to overturn it. Final returns came in with 59 percent of the vote in favor of the law, the Fargo Forum reports. Continue reading

Photo: Forman Drug
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 3, 2014

Why North Dakotans Should Vote to Keep the State’s Unique Pharmacy Law this Election Day

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/north-dakota-should-vote-for-pharmacy-law/

This Tuesday, North Dakota voters will decide the fate of the state’s Pharmacy Ownership Law. Those working against the law—namely Walmart, which has sunk more than $3 million into a front group called North Dakotans for Lower Pharmacy Prices—contend that abandoning the long-standing policy would lead to an increase in the number of pharmacies serving North Dakota. Our research suggests just the opposite. Continue reading