Handing out multimillion-dollar subsidies to large chains has become commonplace in much of the country. But when governments use public money to woo national chains, economic growth and job creation are negligible, and independent retailers suffer, Stacy Mitchell argues in this commentary for Business Week.
This white paper examines the growth of internet retailing, Amazon’s increasing share of this market, and the rise of free-riding as consumers browse and ask questions in brick-and-mortar stores and then buy online. The paper presents several recommendations for manufacturers, retailers, and policy-makers. … Read More
Perhaps we’re not doomed to an economy controlled by a few giant corporations after all. A growing number of signs suggest that local, independent businesses might just be making a comeback.
Inspired by the Harper’s Index, we’ve compiled a list of key indicators of a return to the local. … Read More
For the fourth year in a row, a national survey of independent businesses has found that those in communities with an active "buy local" campaign have experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such a campaign. … Read More
The good news is that overall sales at independent retailers grew by about 4 percent. The bad news is that chains grew faster and independents still lost market share, falling from 31 to 28 percent of retail spending. That decline in market share, however, was considerably slower in this five-year period than the preceding 20 years. Digging deeper into the new data, we found a number of interesting trends.… Read More
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes itself as "the voice of business." But a growing number of small independent businesses and even local chambers are challenging that notion, arguing that the Chamber’s real allegiance is to the giant corporations that fund it. … Read More
Just as CSAs have played a key role in the rebirth of small-scale farms, so too are new community-supported enterprise models helping to launch a new generation of independent grocers, bookstores, and other neighborhood businesses. … Read More