<i>Bloomberg Businessweek</i> Profiles Cities that Restrict Chains to Free More Space for Local Businesses

Bloomberg Businessweek Profiles Cities that Restrict Chains to Free More Space for Local Businesses

Date: 26 Jan 2018 | posted in: Media Coverage, Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

“Like many elected officials, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop talks a lot about the need to support small businesses. Unlike many, he’s put policies in place to help owners survive rent hikes, secure low-interest loans, and get expedited business permits. More than 600 small businesses have opened since Fulop became mayor of New Jersey’s second-biggest city in 2013.”

That’s the opening of a piece by Nick Leiber in Bloomberg Businessweek, which explores how cities are using caps on “formula” retailers — a policy that ILSR has promoted — to ensure that local businesses have ample opportunities to secure space and grow. Drawing on ILSR’s research, the article tracks how these policies have worked in both Jersey City and San Francisco.

Read the full article in Bloomberg Businessweek here…

If you’d like to learn more about formula business ordinances, here are a few resources:

  • In Jersey City, a Policy Fosters Local Independent Businesses — and Gets Pushback from CVS — 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. Read more…
  • ILSR Rule: Formula Business Restrictions — A growing number of cities and towns are enacting policies that restrict the proliferation of “formula businesses” — stores and restaurants that have standardized services, décor, methods of operation, and other features that make them virtually identical to businesses elsewhere. Read more…
  • How San Francisco is Dealing With Chains — No other large American city has done as much to check the spread of chain stores as San Francisco. Under a city law enacted in 2006, a “formula” retail store or restaurant cannot open in any of the city’s neighborhood commercial districts unless it undergoes a public hearing and obtains special approval from the Planning Commission. Read more…
  • San Francisco Breaks the Chain Stores, Strengthens Neighborhood Economies (Episode 31) — This episode of the Building Local Power podcast is a discussion with AnMarie Rodgers, the Senior Policy Advisor to the City of San Francisco who played a key role in implementing the a formula business restriction to support local businesses. Read more…
  • Key Studies: Why Local Matters — In recent decades, policy across the country has privileged the biggest corporations. Yet a growing body of research is proving something that many people already know: small-scale, locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected, and generally better off across a wide range of metrics. Here’s a roundup of the important findings that are putting numbers to the harms of bigness and the benefits of local ownership, and that policymakers can use to craft better laws, business owners can use to rally support, and people can use to organize their communities. Read more…
  • Affordable Space: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It — ILSR’s report examines how high rents are shuttering businesses and stunting entrepreneurship, and explores 6 strategies that cities are using to create an affordable built environment where local businesses can thrive. Read more…

Photo Credit: Mattgrundy at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Nick Stumo-Langer
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Nick Stumo-Langer

Nick Stumo-Langer is Communications Manager at ILSR working for all five initiatives. He runs ILSR's Facebook and Twitter profiles and builds relationships with reporters. He is an alumnus of St. Olaf College and animated by the concerns of monopoly power across our economy.