Back to top Jump to featured resources

Viewing all content from Olivia LaVecchia

About Olivia LaVecchia

Olivia LaVecchia is a Research Associate with ILSR’s Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, where her work focuses on building awareness and support for public policy tools that strengthen locally owned businesses and that check concentrated economic power. Get in touch with Olivia by email at the link below or on Twitter.

Contact Olivia   |   View all articles by Olivia LaVecchia

Photo: Jersey City.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2017

In Jersey City, a Policy Fosters Local Independent Businesses — and Gets Pushback from CVS

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/in-jersey-city-a-policy-fosters-local-independent-businesses-and-draws-cvss-ire/

In downtown Jersey City, a familiar story is playing out: Independent business owners have helped foster neighborhood growth, and now, chain stores are interested in sweeping in with their own locations. What’s different in Jersey City is that the city has taken proactive steps to check this common cycle, and instead, build a model that allows for more opportunity for local entrepreneurs. Continue reading

Photo: Olivia LaVecchia speaking.
Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2017

Watch ILSR’s Olivia LaVecchia on Strategies for Cities to Support Locally Owned Businesses

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-ilsrs-olivia-lavecchia-on-strategies-for-cities-to-support-locally-owned-businesses/

In this 20-minute talk, ILSR’s Olivia LaVecchia breaks down strategies that cities can use to support their local economy. Continue reading

Photo: Street with stores.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2017

Amazon is Hurting Most Independent Retailers, but They’re Weathering the Storm Better than the Chains, Survey Finds

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/changing-retail-landscape/

The retail industry is experiencing significant upheaval, but almost all of the reporting on the issue has focused on national chains. Now, a national survey finds that shifts in retail are playing out differently for independents. While 90% of independent retailers report that Amazon is negatively affecting their businesses, they also say that their distinct strengths are helping them weather the storm better than many national chains. Continue reading

Image: 1st Ripple.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2017

The Ripple Effect When You Shop Local (Infographic)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/shop-local-ripple-effect/

When you choose locally owned businesses for your shopping, you create a ripple effect. Our new infographic shows what happens when you shop local — starting with you. Continue reading

Photo: Amazon warehouse.
Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Oct 20, 2017

Amazon’s Uneven Playing Field

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/amazons-uneven-playing-field/

Amazon is looking for a big subsidy to build its new headquarters. In this op-ed for VICE’s Motherboard, we look at how it’s only the latest move in the company’s long history of using the government to get favors that other businesses can’t. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Aug 14, 2017

Visa Wants to Rule How We Pay for Purchases. But Its Market Power Has a High Cost.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/visa-wants-to-rule-how-we-pay-for-purchases-but-its-market-power-has-a-high-cost/

Visa has a new initiative that’s aimed at expanding its market power by going after cash transactions, and it says, creating “a culture where cash is no longer king.” What’s left implicit is that, instead, Visa wants to rule. But the dominance of Visa, along with Mastercard and the big banks that issue most credit cards, comes with high costs for small business owners and consumers.
Continue reading

Photo: ILSR's Olivia LaVecchia speaking.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on May 9, 2017

Watch: How Cities Can Create a Built Environment Where Local Businesses Thrive

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-how-cities-can-create-a-built-environment-where-local-businesses-thrive/

Cities are changing to become increasingly inhospitable to locally owned businesses. ILSR’s Olivia LaVecchia recently joined with policymakers and advocates at Hopeful Economics, a summit co-hosted by the City of Vancouver and Simon Fraser University, to explore the issue of rising commercial rents and a changing built environment. In this 20-minute talk, Olivia discusses what’s causing the problem, why it matters — and six policy strategies that cities are using to address it. Continue reading

Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 5, 2017

With Healthcare Middlemen Controlling Prescription Drug Prices, There’s a Better Model for Pharmacy Care

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/with-healthcare-middlemen-controlling-prescription-drug-prices-theres-a-better-model-for-pharmacy-care/

There’s a small group of powerful companies, called pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, that increasingly controls the prices of prescription drugs. The results of this market power include higher costs, worse outcomes for patients, and diminishing competition. A new article in the American Prospect looks at the problem and what state and federal governments should do about it, including such solutions as North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law. Continue reading

Photo: Downtown Hamilton, Mont.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 4, 2017

Local Governments Are Increasingly Buying from Amazon. Here’s Why They Need to Stop.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-governments-are-increasingly-buying-from-amazon-heres-why-they-need-to-stop/

From a small county in Montana to a nationwide purchasing group of more than 90,000 public agencies, local governments are increasingly turning to Amazon for their buying needs. When they do, though, citizens lose. Here’s why you should be concerned about this spreading trend — and 5 things you can do. Continue reading

Photo: Sen. Amy Klobuchar delivering a speech on antitrust.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 4, 2017

Anticompetitive Conditions Are Impacting Independent Businesses, Says Letter to Sen. Klobuchar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/anticompetitive-conditions-are-impacting-independent-businesses-says-letter-to-sen-klobuchar/

In today’s highly concentrated markets, the ability of dominant companies to exclude and impede businesses from competing has become one of the most pressing issues facing independent businesses. On the heels of a recent speech about the need for more vigorous antitrust enforcement by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Advocates for Independent Business (AIB) has sent Sen. Klobuchar a letter commending her call for action and sharing information about the experiences of AIB’s member businesses. Continue reading