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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

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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

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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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.
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