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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

amazon-logistics-map
Featured 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

Amazon.com Fulfillment Center RNO1 Fernley, Nevada, August 8, 2007.
(IMAGE BY Ken James)
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

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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

2016 Independent Business Survey Cover
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

Photo: Main Street.
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/

Recent findings from prominent economists, sociologists, and other researchers suggest that small, local businesses are critical to overcoming many of our biggest challenges, from reducing economic inequality to building resilient communities. We round up the new studies and what they tell us about why policymakers should focus on local business in 2016. Continue reading

Photo: Two beer glasses.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 23, 2015

With New Wave of Mega-Mergers, the Big Aim to Get Bigger

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-wave-of-mega-mergers-means-the-big-get-bigger/

A recent agreement between two beer conglomerates will turn them into a single company with control over nearly 30 percent of the global beer market and 70 percent of the U.S. market — and it’s just one deal in a recent spate of mega-mergers that’s set to make 2015 a record year for mergers and acquisitions. While much of this concentration is invisible to most of us, its effects ripple throughout all areas of the economy. Continue reading

Image: Amazon vs. Local Business
Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 12, 2015

Before You Click on Amazon, Here’s Why Your Choice Matters (Infographic)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/before-you-click-infographic/

Amazon is rapidly expanding its online empire, but behind the conveniences that the company offers are a lot of hidden costs. We put together an infographic to see how shopping at Amazon compares with shopping at local businesses in its impact on jobs, taxes, the local economy, and community. Before you click, here’s why your choice matters: Continue reading

Photo: Ribbon cutting at a Walmart expansion.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2015

States Shower Big Companies with Economic Development Incentives, at Small Businesses’ Expense

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/states-shower-big-companies-with-economic-development-incentives-at-small-businesses-expense/

Even when state economic development programs purport to be open to businesses of any size, in practice, they overwhelmingly favor large companies, according to a study released Tuesday. The study determined that 90 percent of a $3.2 billion pot of economic development incentives was awarded to large firms, a finding that casts light on one of the ways that small businesses are placed at a competitive disadvantage. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Banking | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 8, 2015

A Tool to Find Banks that Invest in the Local Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/a-tool-to-find-banks-that-invest-in-the-local-economy/

A new tool called Bank Local, which was developed with input from ILSR and other experts, makes it easier to assess the impact that banks have on their communities. Continue reading