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Photo: Jersey City.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2017

In Jersey City, a Policy Fosters Local Independent Businesses — and Draws CVS’s Ire

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/in-jersey-city-a-policy-fosters-local-independent-businesses-and-draws-cvss-ire/

When Ariel Zaurov first opened his pharmacy in downtown Jersey City’s Paulus Hook neighborhood, in 2005, he was one of just a few businesses in the area. It was a tough start — there weren’t a lot of people who lived in the neighborhood, and the store, called Downtown Pharmacy, didn’t get much foot traffic — but Zaurov dug in, joining the board of the neighborhood association, donating to school groups, and working with local vendors.

Now, 12 years later, Zaurov has opened a second location that’s one stop away on the light rail, and he employs 20 people full-time at both locations. The Paulus Hook neighborhood is thriving, too, with a growing population, increased development, and new businesses, many of which are independent. “Most places are run by the people who own them,” says Zaurov.

As the neighborhood has grown, chain stores have also become more interested in it. In early 2017, CVS signed a lease for a 20,000-square-foot location two blocks up the street from Zaurov’s pharmacy.

It’s a familiar story, one that plays out in cities across the U.S.: Independent business owners sink roots into a place, meet community needs, and foster neighborhood growth, and then, as the area becomes vibrant, chain stores sweep in to open their own locations.

What’s different about the story in Jersey City is that there, the city has taken proactive steps to check this common cycle, and instead, build a model that allows for more opportunity for local entrepreneurs. Continue reading

Photo: Stacy Mitchell speaking at Congressional briefing.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2017

Watch ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell Speak on Amazon at Briefing for Members of Congress

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-ilsrs-stacy-mitchell-speak-on-amazon-at-briefing-for-members-of-congress/

On Friday, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell joined members of Congress and other policy experts for a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., “The Impact of Dominant Internet Platforms on Competition, Innovation, and Democracy.” The briefing, which was held by the House Judiciary Committee Democrats and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, comes as there is increasing concern about the size and power of large tech companies, including Amazon. Continue reading

Photo: Street with stores.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2017

Amazon is Hurting Most Independent Retailers, but They’re Weathering the Storm Better than the Chains, Survey Finds

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

The retail industry is experiencing significant upheaval, but almost all of the reporting on the issue has focused on national chains. Now, a national survey finds that shifts in retail are playing out differently for independents. While 90% of independent retailers report that Amazon is negatively affecting their businesses, they also say that their distinct strengths are helping them weather the storm better than many national chains. Continue reading

Photo: Stacy Mitchell moderates panel at NLC.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2017

ILSR Moderates Workshop at the National League of Cities Conference on “Creating a City Where Small Businesses Thrive”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsr-moderates-workshop-at-the-national-league-of-cities-conference-on-creating-a-city-where-small-businesses-thrive/

A thriving small business sector leads to more job growth, less inequality, higher median incomes, and stronger social bonds in your community. Yet aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have it easy. To help city leaders address the challenges facing independent businesses, ILSR organized and moderated a workshop at the City Summit 2017 conference put on by the National League of Cities in November. Continue reading

Image: 1st Ripple.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2017

The Ripple Effect When You Shop Local (Infographic)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/shop-local-ripple-effect/

When you choose locally owned businesses for your shopping, you create a ripple effect. Our new infographic shows what happens when you shop local — starting with you. Continue reading