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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.

Contact Olivia   |   View all articles by Olivia LaVecchia

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.
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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

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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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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