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