Our Antimonopoly Town Hall Draws Nearly 400 Small Businesses

Date: 25 Feb 2021 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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Nearly 400 people tuned into our lively town hall on February 22nd, which detailed how Amazon’s growing dominance hurts independent businesses and what Congress must do to curb monopoly power. The event featured Congressman David Cicilline, along with leading antitrust experts and small business advocates.

Check out these video clips of the event:

The roundtable, Reining in Monopoly Power: Small Businesses and the Push to Strengthen Antitrust Laws, was co-hosted by 17 national and local independent business associations and organizations and moderated by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Business owners, including a Lawrence, Kan. bookstore owner, a grocer from Opelika, Ala. and an office products dealer in Washington, DC, shared their stories and asked what Congress can do to address Amazon’s market power squeezing their businesses.

Amazon has long been criticized for using its market dominance to bully and undercut small independent retailers. Now, for the first time in decades, passing new antimonopoly laws is shaping up to be a priority. Last October, the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, led by Rep. Cicilline, published an extensive investigation of Big Tech’s market concentration. The report concluded that these dominant firms, including Amazon, are abusing their market power and calls for new legislation to update and strengthen our antitrust laws.

Rep. Cicilline affirmed this committment during the roundtable:

We intend, in Congress, to seize this moment… to address this monopoly challenge we face in our country, because our failure to do so is not an option. The consequences of failing to act will continue to be very bad for the economy, for our democracy, for job creation, for innovation, and for all the things that are central to [our prosperity].

Small businesses have a critical role to play in shaping antimonopoly policies and ensuring that they are a central part of Congress’s economic recovery strategy. We invite you to sign up to fight for fair markets and against monopoly power.

You can watch the event here.

Featured panelists and moderators:

  • Rep. David Cicilline, House Antitrust Subcommittee Chair
  • Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University Law Professor and Author 
  • Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and a leading national expert on monopoly power and small independent businesses
  • Mike Tucker, President & CEO, Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Association
  • Derek Peebles, Executive Director, American Independent Business Alliance
  • Dana Eness, Executive Director, StayLocal
  • Dan Cullen, Senior Strategy Officer, American Booksellers Association



American Booksellers Association

American Independent Business Alliance

American Speciality Toy Retailing Association

Austin Independent Business Alliance

Cambridge Local First

Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Association

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Local First Arizona

Local First La Plata

Louisville Independent Business Alliance

Lowcountry Local First

Main Street Alliance

National Grocers Association

Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance

Running Industry Association

Spokane Independent Metro Business Alliance



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Follow Katy Milani:
Katy Milani

Katy Milani is the Senior Policy Advocate for ILSR's Independent Business initiative.

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Follow Mary Timmel:
Mary Timmel

Mary Timmel was ILSR’s Small Business and Consumer Organizer. She supported and developed the leadership of small businesses and consumers to win policy changes to address rising corporate concentration across the economy.

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Follow Stacy Mitchell:
Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.