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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 26, 2018

Bloomberg Profiles Cities that Have Restricted Chains, Citing Research by ILSR (Additional Resources Linked)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/bloomberg-restrict-chains/

On January 26th, Bloomberg business reporter Nick Leiber published a story exploring how cities are restricting chain stores in order to give local startups and independent businesses a chance. The article draws on ILSR’s research and includes an interview with co-director Stacy Mitchell, who has advised several cities on implementing these policies, which are called formula business restrictions.

Here’s a sample of the Bloomberg piece:

The mayor’s best-known effort is a zoning ordinance that prevents formula businesses—city planner jargon for chains with standardized stores such as Starbucks Corp. and Target Corp.—from occupying more than 30 percent of the ground floor of commercial areas of buildings. The city council enacted the rule in 2015 to preserve the “distinctive sense of place and unique neighborhood character” of downtown, the ordinance states. “You don’t want small business owners who’ve stuck with the city through the bad and the good to get squeezed out,” Fulop says. “There’s a real risk to the long-term health of the city when you look at where retail is going.”

At least 30 cities and towns across the country, from San Francisco to McCall, Idaho, have enacted similar rules. Some ban all chain stores from certain neighborhoods; others cap how many such businesses can move into an area; still others require approval on a case-by-case basis. Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), an advocacy nonprofit for sustainable community development, says the ordinances are “one of the most powerful tools that local governments have to shape the mix of businesses in their cities.” A 2016 ILSR report noted that “as recently as the 1980s, independent retailers supplied about half of the goods Americans bought in stores; today their share is down to about one-quarter.”

Read the full article here… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 14, 2018

SCANA-Dominion Energy Utility Merger a Risky Deal for S.C. Ratepayers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/scana-dominion-energy-utility-merger-a-risky-deal-for-s-c-ratepayers/

Costing over $9 billion, the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant was a bruising failure. South Carolina electric customers need a fresh start. To get that, they ought to avoid a shotgun marriage between SCANA and shareholder-owned Dominion Energy. Continue reading

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Featured Article, Event, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Virginia Streeter | No Comments | Updated on Jan 31, 2018

Presentations: 2018 Community Composting Workshop & Forum

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ccc-2018-presentations/

In January 2018, ILSR convened two events in conjunction with the USCC’s International Conference and Trade Show, COMPOST2018, in Atlanta: the Best Practices in Community Composting Workshop and the National Cultivating Community Composting Forum. These events brought together composters to network, share best practices, and build support for community-scale composting systems and enterprises. The Cultivating Community Composting… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 8, 2018

Colorado State Senator Steve Fenberg on Local Power Versus Corporate Power (Episode 39)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/fenberg-local-power-blp-episode-39/

When a local activist saw that his community wanted a better, more renewable future he took action — now he’s doing the same work in the Colorado State Senate. This week’s episode of the Building Local Power podcast features a great conversation between the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell and… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2018

Community Broadband Pushed Out of Pinetops, N.C.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/community-broadband-pushed-out-of-pinetops-n-c/

After the North Carolina legislature has pulled out all the stops in keeping rural Pinetops from gaining and keeping municipal broadband connectivity by nearby Wilson’s Greenlight network for-profit ISP Suddenlink is stepping in to connect this community. This overview explains how the situation got to this point and the disparate power at play. Continue reading