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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Dec 1, 2016

Amazon’s Growing Stranglehold – Episode 6 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/amazons-growing-stranglehold-episode-6-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

Welcome to episode six of the Building Local Power podcast. For full transcript of the podcast click here. In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Stacy Mitchell (no relation) ILSR Co-Director and Senior Researcher for the Community-Scaled Economies initiative about their latest report: Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2016

Report: How Amazon’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/amazon-stranglehold/

Amazon has quietly positioned itself at the center of a growing share of our daily activities and transactions, extending its tentacles across our economy, and with it, our lives. In this new report, we pull back the curtain on the company, and find that it’s at the center of increasing inequality and diminishing opportunity, and that it’s concentrating power in ways that endanger competition, community life, and democracy. We also examine how public policy should address Amazon’s high costs. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 22, 2015

5 Things Local Officials Need to Know About Amazon

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/5-things-local-officials-need-to-know-about-amazon/

Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion. Yet, as our analysis shows, Amazon fulfillment centers impose so many hidden costs on local economies that cities ought to reconsider welcoming them at all, much less greasing the way with public funds. Continue reading

Photo: Ribbon cutting at a Walmart expansion.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2015

States Shower Big Companies with Economic Development Incentives, at Small Businesses’ Expense

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/states-shower-big-companies-with-economic-development-incentives-at-small-businesses-expense/

Even when state economic development programs purport to be open to businesses of any size, in practice, they overwhelmingly favor large companies, according to a study released Tuesday. The study determined that 90 percent of a $3.2 billion pot of economic development incentives was awarded to large firms, a finding that casts light on one of the ways that small businesses are placed at a competitive disadvantage. Continue reading

Illustration: Seesaw
Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2015

How Washington Punishes Small Business

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/how-washington-punishes-small-business/

Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims. The legislative track record tells another story. It is one in which the interests of big corporations are dominant, and many laws and regulations seem designed to bend the marketplace in their favor and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 30, 2015

Public Officials Must Say No to Amazon’s Request for Tax Breaks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/public-officials-must-say-no-to-amazons-request-for-tax-breaks/

The news that Amazon wants to expand its footprint in Minnesota, but only if it wins significant public subsidies, should put both taxpayers and public officials on high alert. Continue reading

Photo: Testimony at CPC Hearing
Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Apr 30, 2015

Watch: Stacy Mitchell Testifies on Federal Policy to Support Strong Local Economies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-stacy-mitchell-testifies-on-federal-policy-to-support-strong-local-economies/

In this video, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell testifies at a hearing held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, about how federal contracting and other forms of financial support for business should be overhauled to reflect American values and build the kind of economy we need. Continue reading

Photo: Testimony at CPC Hearing
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2015

Testimony to Congress: Overhaul Federal Policy to Support Strong Local Economies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/testimony-congress-overhaul-federal-policy/

This week, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell shared her research and perspective with members of Congress at a hearing organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The forum focused on how federal contracting and other forms of financial support for business should be overhauled to reflect American values of fairness, opportunity, and broad prosperity. Continue reading

Image: 2014 Independent Business Survey Cover
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2014

Independent Business Owners Report Growing Public Support, Call for Policies to Level the Playing Field

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2014-survey/

A survey of 2,602 independent business owners across the U.S. has found that the Buy Local message is boosting customer traffic and improving the outlook on Main Street. But entrepreneurs also say policymakers need to do more to create a level playing field and ensure that small local businesses have an equal opportunity to compete. Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 8, 2013

Franklin County, Alabama, Task Force Investigates Internet Options

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/franklin-county-alabama-task-force-investigates-internet-options/

In a reminder of just how poor telecommunications can be in this country, Franklin County in rural northwest Alabama has formed a Task Force to investigate how it can get something better than dialup. “The Internet has become an important as having electricity and water,” said Cole, an extension agent in Franklin County. “For our… Continue reading