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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Jul 22, 2016

Podcast: Stacy Mitchell on How Big-Box Retailers Undercut the American Middle Class

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/podcast-stacy-mitchell-on-how-big-box-retailers-undercut-the-american-middle-class/

In a recent episode of the Strong Towns podcast, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell spoke with Strong Towns’s Chuck Marohn as part of the organization’s special week on big-box retailers.

“When we were thinking about this a few weeks back, I said there’s nobody I want to talk to more than Stacy Mitchell,” says Marohn in the introduction.

Over the course of the 47-minute conversation, Mitchell and Marohn cover the origins of the big-box store, how the stores win public subsidies at the expense of communities, and the way they are undercutting the American middle class.

“Walmart and Target have come in and… they’ve destroyed a lot of those small business livelihoods, and in their place what they have given us are jobs making an average of $9.00 an hour in their stores,” says Mitchell in the episode. “A huge part of the inequality story in this country, you can lay it right at the feet of these companies.” 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

New Report: 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

Photo: Empty Walmart.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 17, 2016

With 269 Stores Closing, Is this the Beginning of the End for Walmart?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/with-269-stores-closing-is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-walmart/

All great retail empires eventually fall. A&P did. So did Montgomery Ward. But Walmart’s recent announcement that it would close 269 stores may not be an initial stumble on a path toward demise so much as a move to abandon communities that it has decided simply aren’t worth the trouble. We look at both the bad and the good fallout from Walmart’s pullback, and how its closures are best explained as a side effect of its main strategy for dominating the economy: overbuilding regions to the point of not just destroying competition but cannibalizing its own sales, while communities bear the consequences. Continue reading

Photo: Stacy Mitchell speaks at the 2016 Winter Institute.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Mar 4, 2016

Watch: Stacy Mitchell Speaks on the New Localism

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-stacy-mitchell-speaks-on-the-new-localism/

ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell spoke about policy to shape the next phase of the local economy movement in this presentation at the 2016 Winter Institute. The annual conference and educational event, hosted by the American Booksellers Association, was held in Denver on Jan. 25 and 26. 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