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About Olivia LaVecchia

Olivia LaVecchia is a Research Associate with ILSR’s Community-Scaled Economy Initiative. A former reporter, her work has won recognition locally and nationally, including the 2014 “Media for a Just Society” award for newspaper writing.

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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

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Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 7, 2017

How Amazon Undermines Jobs, Wages, and Working Conditions (Fact Sheet)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/amazon-workers-fact-sheet/

ILSR and Jobs with Justice partnered to produce a fact sheet that looks at how Amazon is undermining wages and conditions for working people, and driving growing inequality. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 7, 2017

When It Comes to Working People, Amazon Isn’t Innovative at All

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

When shoppers interact with Amazon, they see an innovator. But behind the scenes, Amazon relies on a labor model that looks a lot more like the past than the future, with fewer reliable jobs, declining wages, and increasing inequality. We’ve partnered with Jobs With Justice to produce an article and fact sheet that breaks down how this powerful corporation is undermining working people — and what we need to do. Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2016

Mapping Amazon’s U.S. Logistics Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/amazon-logistics-map/

Amazon’s been expanding its infrastructure at a breakneck pace. In order to better visualize the company’s expansion in the U.S., we’ve mapped it. Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2016

Report: How Amazon’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

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

Amazon has quietly positioned itself at the center of a growing share of our daily activities and transactions, extending its tentacles across our economy, and with it, our lives. In this new report, we pull back the curtain on the company, and find that it’s at the center of increasing inequality and diminishing opportunity, and that it’s concentrating power in ways that endanger competition, community life, and democracy. We also examine how public policy should address Amazon’s high costs. Continue reading

Featured Article, Testimony filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Oct 10, 2016

ILSR’s Testimony at New York City Hearing on Retail Diversity and Neighborhood Character

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsr-testimony-new-york-city-hearing-on-retail-diversity-and-neighborhood-character/

At a recent New York City Council hearing, ILSR submitted testimony examining the importance of locally owned businesses to the City, the crisis affecting them, and examples of effective and proven policy strategies to level the playing field for these businesses. Continue reading

Photo: Lost our lease.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

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

As the cost of leasing commercial space soars in many U.S. cities, a new report from ILSR examines what’s behind the skyrocketing rents and explores six broad policy strategies that elected officials and community leaders are proposing to keep commercial space appropriate, accessible, and affordable for independent businesses. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 10, 2016

Independent Businesses Report Growing Sales and Hiring, but Policies Tilted in Favor of Large Companies Hold Them Back

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2016-independent-business-survey/

The 2016 Independent Business Survey finds that independent businesses experienced brisk sales and a sharp increase in hiring in 2015, but that biased policies and other obstacles are limiting their success. Continue reading