Mary Timmel is Small Business and Consumer Organizer for ILSR’s Independent Business initiative, where she supports and develops the leadership of small businesses and consumers to win policy changes that check Amazon’s outsized power and address rising corporate concentration across the economy.
Since joining ILSR, Mary has coordinated Small Business Rising — a coalition of over 20 organizations representing more than 150,000 independent businesses that fights to level the playing field for small business. The Small Business Rising launch attracted significant national media coverage, including a feature in the Wall Street Journal, and stories in Bloomberg, Inc., Agence France Presse, Politico Pro, The Hill, the Associated Press, and elsewhere.
In her role, Mary organizes small business owners to take direct action, including a petition to Congress to break up Amazon and a letter to officials supporting Lina Khan for FTC commissioner. She is also developing a growing cadre of small and independent business spokespeople who are engaging lawmakers and media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, to tell their stories.
She shepherds events focused on small business issues, including a lively ILSR town hall, with almost 400 business owners tuning in. The event featured a panel led by Representative Cicilline, along with experts, small business owners participants, and business organizations that addressed the need for antitrust reform and advocated for breaking up Amazon.
Mary also actively participates as an Athena Coalition member, coordinating small business and public outreach to educate and advocate for antitrust reform, breaking up Amazon, and building an economy and democracy that works for everyone.
Prior to joining ILSR, Mary spent years advocating for social and economic justice. From her work with Missouri Jobs With Justice to her years as a union organizer, Mary has engaged with people from a variety of fields who know having input into their working conditions and laws is integral to having safe, fair, and productive workplaces and lives. Mary has extensive small business advocacy experience, educating and activating the small business community around issues like health care and nondiscrimination policies, access to capital, raising the minimum wage, and more. She gained valuable insight into the breadth and depth of the issues small business owners and communities face and the areas where we can find common ground to advance policies that will lift the marginalized up and allow all of us to achieve a better quality of life.