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Salt Lake City Coalition Creates Voice For Independents

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 1, 2000 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Salt Lake City officials now routinely consider how their decisions might impact locally owned businesses, thanks to the work of a new independent business coalition and the election last year of Mayor Rocky Anderson.

The Salt Lake Vest Pocket Business Coalition was launched in early 1999 and now includes more than 150 local businesses. The Coalition works to generate increased awareness of the economic and community contributions of independent businesses.

Several members of the Coalition’s board serve on a newly formed business advisory committee, which provides feedback to the mayor and the Department of Economic and Community Development on issues affecting local businesses.

The Coalition scored a big victory this month when a proposal for a large shopping mall was dropped by the City Council. Coalition members had joined with other local activists, including the Sierra Club’s Utah chapter, to oppose the mall.

Mayor Anderson was an early opponent as well, contending that the “Sprawl Mall” would threaten the downtown economy and exacerbate sprawl. When asked about the developer’s threat to build in a nearby town, he said that the city’s policies should not be “dictated by other communities that have already shown that they will grab onto just about any kind of chain store development in an attempt to build up their sales tax base.” Salt Lake City, he said, has a charm and unique identity worth protecting.

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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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