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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2016

New Studies Reveal 5 Reasons Policymakers Should Prioritize Local Business in 2016

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/5-reasons-for-policymakers-to-prioritize-local-in-2016/

It’s the season of resolutions, and creating a better environment for locally owned businesses to succeed ought to be near the top of every elected official’s list of priorities.

That’s the suggestion of a raft of recent research from prominent economists, sociologists, and other researchers, which finds that small, local businesses are critical to overcoming many of our biggest challenges, from reducing economic inequality to building resilient communities.

Here’s a roundup of the new studies that give five compelling reasons for policymakers to focus on local business in 2016.

 

1. Fewer new businesses are starting, and that’s bad news for long-term job creation.

Employment is finally on the rebound, but high rates of underemployment and minimal wage growth suggest all is not well in the U.S. job market.  One disturbing trend may be to blame: the creation of new businesses has fallen sharply.

While startups accounted for 16 percent of all businesses in the late 1970s, that share has fallen by half, to 8 percent, explains a new brief from the Kauffman Foundation. The brief also explains why that’s so troubling. The authors round up the recent research on firm age and job creation, and find that young firms are the major contributor of new jobs to the U.S. economy.

“New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation,” they write, adding, “companies less than one year old have created an average of 1.5 million jobs per year over the past three decades.”

While no one is certain what’s caused the drop in new businesses, the same policies and conditions that have made it harder for small, local businesses to succeed may well be impeding new entrepreneurs.

2. Places with a high density of locally owned businesses experience higher income and employment growth, and less poverty.

Counties in which locally owned businesses account for a larger share of economic activity are more prosperous, according to a new study [PDF] by an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Using data on every U.S. county in the period between 2000 and 2008, the author, Anil Rupasingha, finds that local entrepreneurship has a positive effect on three critical indicators of economic performance: It increases county per capita income growth, increases county employment growth, and decreases county poverty rates. Rupasingha finds that this effect of local ownership is most pronounced when businesses are also small, defined as having fewer than 100 employees.

3. Small businesses make communities more resilient during hard times.

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on Feb 1, 2016

Seniors, Low-Income, Disabled Communities Pay the Price in St. Paul

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/seniors-low-income-disabled-communities-pay-the-price-in-st-paul/

For seniors, low-income residents, and the disabled in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a Comcast discount within the city’s franchise agreement is not all it was cracked up to be. The Pioneer Press recently reported that, as eligible subscribers seek the ten percent discount guaranteed by the agreement, they are finding the devil is in the details… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 28, 2016

New Fossil Fuel Power Plants: Assets or Liabilities?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-fossil-fuel-power-plants-assets-or-liabilities/

In any conversation about the transition to a renewable energy economy, solar and wind advocates will eventually come up against the term “stranded assets.” It’s a misleading term, usually deployed in defense of legacy fossil fuel power plants (and their owners). But as times change, “stranded assets” can be redefined and in the next few… Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 28, 2016

Open Letter Urges Xcel Energy to Adhere to Minnesota Clean Energy Commitments

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/open-letter-urges-xcel-energy-to-adhere-to-minnesota-clean-energy-commitments/

  Contact: Alice Madden Alice@communitypowermn.org 206-372-8471           To: Christopher Clark, President, Northern States Power Company – Minnesota January 26, 2016   Dear Mr. Clark, Community Power, a tireless advocate for clean, affordable, and equitable energy systems, is excited about Xcel Energy’s upcoming supplement to its Integrated Resource Plan illustrating alternatives to… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 5, 2016

Congress Gets Renewable Tax Credit Extension Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/congress-gets-renewable-tax-credit-extension-right/

In case you missed it over the holiday, Congress passed a new federal budget, notably extending tax credits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies. The extension differs from previous ones in two ways: it extends the credits for multiple years but also (as ILSR has been discussing since 2012) phases them out over… Continue reading