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
Big-Box Swindle was named one of the top ten business books of the year by Booklist and described by Bill McKibben as “the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country.”… Read More
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many of New Orleans’ locally owned businesses reopened within days of the floodwaters subsiding, while national chains kept their distance for months, even years. Now a new study finds that the city’s independent businesses are not only more resilient, but generate twice the economic impact of big-box retailers like Target, while consuming a fraction of the land. … Read More
So far, the public debate about cars and climate change has been dominated by fuel economy. But driving has been growing at such a rapid pace that even a big advance in fuel economy is likely to be wiped out by ever more miles on the road. This is where local stores come in. Dozens of studies have found that people who live near small stores walk more for errands and, when they do drive, their trips are shorter. … Read More
A growing body of evidence suggests that public enthusiasm for all things local and independent is on the rise, providing locally owned businesses with a measure of insulation from the worst effects of the recession, even as some of their biggest competitors teeter and collapse.… Read More
Borders Books is on "death watch," according to one industry observer. Virgin shut down its last U.S. record store this month. Office Depot and Staples are struggling. Circuit City is gone. Best Buy has launched a desperate ad campaign.
While the decline of independent businesses has leveled off, the rest of the retail sector is undergoing dramatic consolidation as a small number of massive companies become ever more dominant. This is an ominous trend for manufacturers and consumers, and it exposes serious flaws in U.S. antitrust policy. … Read More
A unique law in North Dakota requires that pharmacies be owned by pharmacists, which means that almost all pharmacies in the state are independently owned. This report finds that, thanks to the law, North Dakota outperforms other states on key measures of pharmacy service, including the number of pharmacies serving rural areas and average prescription prices.… Read More