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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, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 11, 2016

Report: Inclusive Financing for Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-inclusive-energy-financing/

Download the Report   Browse the Report Executive Summary A Huge Opportunity      Limitations      A Necessary Paradigm Shift A Powerful Universal Tool: Inclusive On-Bill Repayment      Program Design       Key Results      Instant Savings      Universal Access      Simplicity      Bigger Savings      Low Default… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 12, 2016

Report: Sparking Grid Savings Starts at Home

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-sparking-grid-savings/

  Download the Report   Browse the Report Introduction Big Potential Savings     Peak Reduction from Commercial Buildings     Peak Reduction from Homes Deepening of Peak Energy Reduction in Homes Powerful Examples Automated or No? Conclusion Footnotes Introduction In the past decade, two major trends have threatened the ability of electric utilities to… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Oct 11, 2016

Report: North Carolina Connectivity – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-north-carolina-connectivity-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

North Carolina’s digital divide between urban and rural communities is increasing dangerously in a time when high quality Internet access is more important than ever. Rural and urban areas of North Carolina are essentially living in different realities, based on the tides of private network investment where rural communities are severely disadvantaged. The state has… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 30, 2016

Report: Is Bigger Best in Renewable Energy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-is-bigger-best/

  Download the Report   Browse the Report Introduction: The Savings of Size?     Renewable Energy Economies of Scale Evidence to the Contrary     Limits to Scale in Wind     Limits to Scale in Solar     Does Big or Small Grow Fastest? Why Economics Isn’t the Issue Summary Footnotes   Conventional wisdom… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 10, 2016

Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business: The Case for Restoring America’s Once Robust Antitrust Policies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopoly-power-and-the-decline-of-small-business/

The United States is much less a nation of entrepreneurs than it was a generation ago. This report suggests that the decline of small businesses is owed, at least in part, to anticompetitive behavior by large, dominant corporations. Drawing on examples in pharmacy, banking, telecommunications, and retail, it finds that big companies routinely use their size and their economic and political power to undermine their smaller rivals and exclude them from markets. This report presents three compelling reasons to bring a commitment to fair and open markets for small businesses back into antitrust enforcement and public policy, and concludes by outlining several specific steps to revive competition and small business. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2016

The Secrets Behind Partnerships to Improve Internet Access

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

A growing number of US cities have broken up monopoly control of the Internet marketplace locally. They’re promoting entrepreneurship, and giving residents and businesses real choice in how they connect and reach new audiences. They’ve brought a new wrinkle to an old model: the public-private partnership. “Communities desperately need better Internet access, but not all local… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Minnesota’s Broadband Grant Program: Getting the Rules Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mn-border-to-border-grant-program/

Minneapolis, MN —In its first two years of implementation, the Minnesota Border-to-Border program distributed $30 million to 31 rural Minnesota communities. But the state has not put enough money into the program and needs to put more focus on getting investment in Greater Minnesota cities to spur economic development. “This funding is essential to greater Minnesota… Continue reading

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Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2016

Report: Beyond Sharing – How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power

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

Browse the Report Introduction Benefits of Community Renewable Energy U.S. Barriers to Community Renewable Energy Barrier Busting Exceptional Community Energy Projects Community as City A Community Renewable Energy Gold Standard Conclusion Appendix Footnotes The electric utility monopoly is breaking up, but will renewable energy become another form of wealth extraction or will community renewable energy… Continue reading

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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

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-mn-rural-fiber/

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 29, 2016

Report: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-remembering-the-electric-cooperative/

by John Farrell, Matt Grimley & Nick Stumo-Langer Electric cooperatives have been the backbone of the nation’s rural electrical system for more than 80 years. Their mission and business model now face more challenges than ever, from financial to contractual to basic member control. But the opportunity is equally great, with a chance for member-driven investment… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Mar 3, 2016

Report: Mighty Microgrids

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

Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers. DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT   Executive Summary The electric grid is no longer… Continue reading

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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

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Article, Resource filed under General | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Nov 18, 2015

Building Local Equity: ILSR’s Impact in 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/building-local-equity-ilsrs-impact-in-2015/

ILSR’s forward-thinking, bottom-up solutions have never been more needed.   Please help us expand our impact in 2016 by making an online tax-deductible donation to ILSR. Since our founding, building equity has been a core value and aim of our work. The word “equity” originally meant fairness or equality. Today the term has degenerated into a… Continue reading