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New Toolkit Helps Independent Businesses Advocate for Policies that Support the Local Economy

Date: 17 Jul 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

When independent businesses meet with their local officials, they help build the mindset that independent businesses matter. A new Local Policy Action Toolkit created by ILSR with the Advocates for Independent Business coalition offers independent business owners and retailers concrete tips for engaging with their city officials and advocating for policies that strengthen and grow local businesses. By advocating for policy change, independent business owners can help create a stronger local economy.… Read More

Report: Amazon’s Next Frontier: Your City’s Purchasing

Date: 10 Jul 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Amazon recently secured a national contract that opens the way for billions of dollars in local government spending to shift to the company, but there’s been virtually no reporting on the deal. In this new report, we examine the contract and Amazon’s push to capture local government spending, and find concerns — including that the contract leaves local governments at risk of being ripped off, and sets Amazon up to expand its monopoly power. We conclude by offering examples of local governments that are choosing to reject Amazon’s deal.… Read More

As Amazon Moves to Capture Local Government Spending, Here’s What You Can Do

Date: 10 Jul 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A recent contract opens the way for billions of dollars in local government spending to shift to Amazon. The good news is that, for concerned citizens and public officials, Amazon’s push into the public sector offers a way to take action at the local level and start a concrete conversation about Amazon’s power and what we should do about it. In this fact sheet, we outline three strategies to use to take action.… Read More

With Antitrust Ruling, Supreme Court Underscores Need for New Anti-Monopoly Movement

Date: 29 Jun 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the case Ohio v. American Express makes even more clear the importance of the growing movement of citizens and elected officials to restore U.S. antitrust laws to their original strength and purpose, and to tackle the power of Big Tech head-on through new policies.… Read More

In a Win for Independent Businesses, U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Sales Tax Fairness

Date: 21 Jun 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for states to require out-of-state and online retailers to collect state sales taxes. It’s an important day for independent businesses: After years of being forced to compete at a significant price disadvantage, locally owned businesses finally have a shot at a more level playing field when it comes to sales tax.… Read More

Come Work With Us! Seeking a Researcher & Writer for ILSR’s Community-Scaled Economy Initiative

Date: 7 Jun 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

We’re hiring! We’re excited to announce a job opening for a Research Associate with our Community-Scaled Economy program, which challenges concentrated corporate power and advocates for policies to rebuild the economic power and capacity of local communities. This is a terrific opportunity for someone passionate about building just, sustainable, and local economies. Take a look at the full job posting, and please do help us spread the word about the opening.… Read More

Adaptive Reuse of Commercial Buildings

Date: 25 May 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Neighborhoods with a variety of buildings of different ages, and especially those with historic buildings, can offer a built environment that’s well-suited to independent businesses. The challenge is that, in many cases, historic commercial buildings have become vacant and fallen into disrepair—and may be difficult for startups or independent entrepreneurs to retrofit, bring up to code, and re-occupy. A tool known as adaptive reuse can provide modest incentivizes and reduce these barriers to retrofitting historic buildings, ultimately facilitating the growth of local businesses.… Read More

Listen: ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell Talks Amazon and Antitrust on “The Majority Report” with Sam Seder

Date: 11 May 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell recently joined host Sam Seder to talk Amazon and monopoly power on the popular podcast, “The Majority Report.” Sparked by Stacy’s recent cover story on Amazon in The Nation, Stacy and Sam’s conversation covers Amazon’s role as an infrastructure company, the dramatic shift that occurred in U.S. antitrust policy, and six proposals to rein in today’s monopolies.… Read More

Set-Asides for Local Businesses

Date: 8 May 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In many cities, retail space in new development is increasingly designed for chains. A tool known as set-asides offers cities an effective way to check this tendency, and at the same time, advance other city goals, like walkability and retail diversity. Set-asides require developers to reserve, or “set aside,” commercial space that meets certain characteristics in new developments. Cities can require developers to dedicate a portion of ground-floor retail to spaces that are small, to spaces that are commercial condominiums, or to businesses that are locally owned.… Read More

Why Small Businesses Matter for Workers

Date: 18 Apr 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Small businesses are sometimes criticized as being bad for workers — but that idea is wrong. In this piece, we look at how small and large businesses compare on concrete metrics like wages, and find that in some industries, including retail, employees at small businesses earn more. There’s also a larger way in which the interests of small businesses and working people are aligned, we argue: Both groups benefit when public policy works to disperse economic power.… Read More

Formula Business Restriction — Mendocino County, CA

Date: 12 Apr 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Mendocino County, Calif., passed a formula business ordinance in November 2016, following community outcry over a proposed Dollar General. The outcry led to an interim moratorium on new permits for formula businesses while the county studied the issue, and ultimately, a formula business ordinance. As an ordinance at the county level, it’s particularly effective, as it covers unincorporated areas that are outside the boundaries of city and municipal zoning.… Read More

Internet Sales Tax Fairness

Date: 9 Apr 2018 | posted in: Retail | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Even as online sales have grown into a multi-trillion-dollar force in the U.S. economy, states have been limited in their authority to require e-commerce companies to collect state and local sales taxes. As a result, cities, states, and local businesses, along with the citizens and customers who rely on them, have all been hit with negative impacts: The policy has placed local businesses at an unfair disadvantage, and has undermined state and local tax revenues. Now, the fight to require online retailers to collect sales taxes just as brick-and-mortar retailers do is intensifying. It’s currently being waged on three fronts: At the U.S. Supreme Court, at the state level, and in Congress.… Read More

Internet Sales Tax Fairness — Notification — Colorado

Date: 9 Apr 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In February 2010, Colorado passed a law that requires remote retailers that do not collect state sales taxes to: a) notify Colorado customers that they owe the tax on their purchases, b) send an annual report to customers detailing all of their purchases in the preceding year and the amount of sales tax owed, and c) also provide this information annually to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The law applies to retailers with more than $100,000 in annual sales, including Amazon.com and Overstock.com. A federal appeals court upheld Colorado’s law in February 2016.… Read More

Internet Sales Tax Fairness — Marketplace Nexus — Minnesota

Date: 9 Apr 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In May 2017, as part of a general revenue law, Minnesota passed a first-in-the-nation law that requires platform, or “marketplace,” retailers to collect sales tax on sales made on the platform by third-party sellers. The requirement will take effect the sooner of July 1, 2019, or when the U.S. Supreme Court modifies its ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota.… Read More

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