INDEPENDENT BUSINESS INITIATIVE

Taking Action Locally – Archive

Chicago City Council Votes to Rein In Dollar Store Development

Chicago City Council Votes to Rein In Dollar Store Development

Susan Holmberg

February 21, 2024

Another city is fighting back against dollar chains. The Chicago City Council has voted to enact an ordinance that will limit development of new chain dollar stores. Over 60 other cities and towns have enacted similar ordinances in recent years, but Chicago is the largest city to date to do so.READ MORE


In the Chicago Tribune: Why Chicago Needs to Limit Dollar Stores

In the Chicago Tribune: Why Chicago Needs to Limit Dollar Stores

Susan Holmberg

February 15, 2024

"Eliminating food deserts requires many solutions. But there is one absolutely essential action: preventing dollar stores from proliferating," Tulsa City Council Member Vanessa Hall-Harper and ILSR Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith wrote in The Chicago Tribune in support of a proposal to limit dollar stores.READ MORE


Community Wins: How Do You Buy Groceries When There’s No Grocery Store? These Communities Figured It Out

Community Wins: How Do You Buy Groceries When There’s No Grocery Store? These Communities Figured It Out

Kennedy Smith

October 26, 2023

From mobile markets to refrigerated food pick-up lockers, communities are exploring innovative new approaches to making sure their residents have convenient, affordable access to healthy food. Check out the latest in our Community Wins series.READ MORE


On The Hustle, Kennedy Smith Explains the Bad Economics of Dollar Stores

On The Hustle, Kennedy Smith Explains the Bad Economics of Dollar Stores

Susan Holmberg

October 11, 2023

Kennedy Smith was on The Hustle to spell out why dollar stores are so problematic for our pocketbooks and our communities.READ MORE


Getting Capital to Underserved Entrepreneurs: Some Pandemic Lessons

Getting Capital to Underserved Entrepreneurs: Some Pandemic Lessons

Susan Holmberg

September 7, 2023

In Nonprofit Quarterly, ILSR Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith describes the federal Equitable Lending Leaders program and some of its biggest lessons.READ MORE


Community Wins: In the Face of Consolidation, Communities are Opening Their Own Grocery Stores

Community Wins: In the Face of Consolidation, Communities are Opening Their Own Grocery Stores

Kennedy Smith

August 2, 2023

Communities are adopting innovative strategies to sustain their grocery stores or create new ones amidst the challenges posed by grocery sector consolidation. Some local governments are even creating a public option by operating grocery stores themselves. Here's how these places are ensuring access to fresh, healthy food.READ MORE


WATCH: Fixing the Food Gap

WATCH: Fixing the Food Gap

Katy Milani

May 23, 2023

This virtual event featured Federal Trade Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya alongside community leaders, independent grocers, and advocates—to examine the ways these dominant retailers exert their power, how community leaders are fighting back, and what federal leaders must do to cultivate fairness in our food system.READ MORE


Dollar Store Restrictions

Dollar Store Restrictions

Kennedy Smith

March 23, 2023

As dollar stores multiply rapidly across the U.S., cities are developing dollar store-specific policies to rein in their growth. Such policies include “dispersal restrictions" that set limits on how close new dollar stores can be to existing ones. These ordinances account for the existing concentration of dollar stores within a neighborhood or city and help ensure that these chains cannot amass at such a density that they impede opportunities for grocery stores and other businesses to take root and grow. Our new map shows dollar store defeats and restrictions across the country.READ MORE


On Columbus Radio: Stacy Mitchell Discusses the Problem of Dollar Stores

On Columbus Radio: Stacy Mitchell Discusses the Problem of Dollar Stores

Luke Gannon

March 10, 2023

On the local NPR affiliate, Stacy explains how dollar stores prey on communities. READ MORE


Report: The Dollar Store Invasion

Report: The Dollar Store Invasion

Stacy Mitchell

February 28, 2023

In this report, we spotlight communities rising up against dollar chains and how federal policymakers need to address the ways in which misguided policies are fueling the destructive proliferation of dollar stores.READ MORE


Stop Dollar Store Proliferation in Your Community: A Strategy Guide

Stop Dollar Store Proliferation in Your Community: A Strategy Guide

Kennedy Smith

February 28, 2023

More than 75 cities and towns have defeated dollar store projects in the last four years. Our new strategy guide can help you keep these chains out of your community.READ MORE


17 Problems: How Dollar Store Chains Hurt Communities

17 Problems: How Dollar Store Chains Hurt Communities

Kennedy Smith

February 28, 2023

Community leaders have good reason to be concerned about chain dollar stores.READ MORE


Toledo Takes Dollar Stores to Church

Toledo Takes Dollar Stores to Church

Luke Gannon

February 28, 2023

An Ohio pastor leads the charge against the dollar store invasion in his communityREAD MORE


Helping Lending Programs Reach Underserved Small Business Owners

Helping Lending Programs Reach Underserved Small Business Owners

Kennedy Smith

February 21, 2023

For the past year, ILSR and Recast City have collaborated on bringing Equitable Lending Leaders, a program to help small business lending programs reach more underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners, particularly owners of color. Now that more than 120 RLFs have participated in Equitable Lending Leaders, we have identified several best practices.READ MORE


On Wisconsin Public Radio, Kennedy Smith Explains the Cost of Dominant Food Delivery Apps and What Cities Can Do

On Wisconsin Public Radio, Kennedy Smith Explains the Cost of Dominant Food Delivery Apps and What Cities Can Do

Luke Gannon

May 25, 2022

Kennedy Smith joined The Morning Show on Wisconsin Public Radio to talk about how the largest, Wall-Street-fueled delivery apps are using their market power to extract ever-increasing profits from restaurants.READ MORE


Report: Small Business’s Big Moment

Report: Small Business's Big Moment

Kennedy Smith

January 24, 2022

One of the biggest challenges facing America’s towns and cities is leveling the playing field for small businesses. Our new report shows how civic leaders can use the American Rescue Plan to do just that, which will provide communities and local economies with lasting benefits for decades to come.READ MORE


Webinar: Small Business’s Big Moment

Webinar: Small Business's Big Moment

Kennedy Smith

January 20, 2022

On February 10th, 2022, ILSR and Main Street America hosted a conversation about how communities can use some of their federal American Rescue Plan Act allocations to support small business growth and development. The webinar was based on a new report by ILSR that outlines a dozen ideas for using American Rescue Plan Act money to cultivate and support small businesses.READ MORE


Chuck Marohn Explains What’s Wrong With America’s Roads — Episode 136 of Building Local Power

Chuck Marohn Explains What's Wrong With America's Roads — Episode 136 of Building Local Power

Jess Del Fiacco

September 30, 2021

Host Jess Del Fiacco and ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell interview Chuck Marohn, President of Strong Towns. Chuck is also the author of the new book Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town, which explores what conventional transportation planning is costing our communities. READ MORE


Watch: New Wave of Federal Recovery Funds Can Rebuild Main Street

Watch: New Wave of Federal Recovery Funds Can Rebuild Main Street

Susan Holmberg

September 13, 2021

At the Future Cities conference, ILSR Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith moderated a panel discussion about how cities can leverage federal recovery funds to revitalize their commercial districts, create more small businesses, and reduce racial and economic inequality.READ MORE


Main Street’s Missing Ingredient: Small Scale Manufacturing — Episode 133 of Building Local Power

Main Street's Missing Ingredient: Small Scale Manufacturing — Episode 133 of Building Local Power

Jess Del Fiacco

August 19, 2021

Host Jess Del Fiacco, ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell, and Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith are joined by Ilana Preuss, the founder of Recast City, a firm that works with city officials and local leaders to integrate space for small manufacturers into placed-based development projects.READ MORE


In Governing: New Opportunities for Cities to Create Affordable Space for Small Business

In Governing: New Opportunities for Cities to Create Affordable Space for Small Business

Kennedy Smith

July 28, 2021

In Governing, ILSR Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith and Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty examine how cities and towns can create affordable space for local businesses and foster a built environment that supports entrepreneurship.READ MORE


Special Delivery: Our Report Shows How Local Delivery Services are Superior to the Big Apps

Special Delivery: Our Report Shows How Local Delivery Services are Superior to the Big Apps

Kennedy Smith

May 25, 2021

Unlike the predatory Wall Street-backed apps, local delivery services charge lower fees, support restaurants, keep wealth in the community, and demonstrate that when it comes to food delivery, local delivery models are better and more efficient.READ MORE


Keeping NYC Land Out of Corporate Hands — Episode 118 of Building Local Power

Keeping NYC Land Out of Corporate Hands — Episode 118 of Building Local Power

Jess Del Fiacco

March 21, 2021

Host Jess Del Fiacco and ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell are joined by Brad Lander, who represents Brooklyn's 39th District on the New York City Council. Brad shares his perspective on how the pandemic has affected NYC neighborhoods.READ MORE


Kennedy Smith talks to Mayors about How to Help Small Business

Kennedy Smith talks to Mayors about How to Help Small Business

Kennedy Smith

November 30, 2020

ILSR Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith talked to the Mayors' Institute on City Design about how to help Main Street businesses survive the pandemic.READ MORE


Policy Brief: Local and State Governments Have Marshalled $9.27 Billion for Small Business Relief

Policy Brief: Local and State Governments Have Marshalled $9.27 Billion for Small Business Relief

Kennedy Smith

October 19, 2020

Our research has found that cities, counties, states, and community organizations have established more than 800 programs to provide financial assistance to small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. These programs have deployed more than $9.27 billion in grants and loans. Yet the funds are running out. Congress should address the unprecedented crisis facing small business by quickly providing the resources local governments need to do this important work.READ MORE


On WBEZ’s Reset: How Can We Protect Small Businesses During The Pandemic?

On WBEZ's Reset: How Can We Protect Small Businesses During The Pandemic?

Jordan Ashby

September 30, 2020

On WBEZ, Kennedy Smith discusses the state of small businesses during this pandemic and the role that state and local governments need to play in supporting them.READ MORE


Now is the Moment to Advocate for Small Business: A Kauffman Conversation

Now is the Moment to Advocate for Small Business: A Kauffman Conversation

Susan Holmberg

September 9, 2020

Stacy Mitchell joined an online discussion with Jason Wiens, policy director for the Kauffman Foundation, and Brandy Bynum Dawson, director of Advocacy for the NC Rural Center about the critical role policy plays for small businesses – especially given the confluence of factors in 2020.READ MORE


Report: 26 Actions Local Leaders Can Take to Help Small Businesses Weather the Pandemic

Report: 26 Actions Local Leaders Can Take to Help Small Businesses Weather the Pandemic

Kennedy Smith

July 29, 2020

ILSR's latest report describes 26 actions that community leaders — including local governments, local business groups, nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, and other entities — can adopt to help small businesses weather the crisis.READ MORE


Our Guide Gives State and Local Leaders Tools to Fight Corporate Monopolies

Our Guide Gives State and Local Leaders Tools to Fight Corporate Monopolies

Jess Del Fiacco

July 15, 2020

As state and local leaders grapple with how to create a true recovery — one that lifts wages, fosters small businesses, and rebalances power — combating outsized corporate power is a key strategy. Check out ILSR's guide to antimonopoly policies for states and cities.READ MORE


Biting Back: Delivery Apps are Gobbling Up Restaurant Revenues, and Cities Have Had Enough

Biting Back: Delivery Apps are Gobbling Up Restaurant Revenues, and Cities Have Had Enough

Kennedy Smith

May 29, 2020

Wall Street-funded delivery services are taking a huge bite out of restaurants' meager revenues. Restaurant owners are desperate and furious — and cities are pushing back.READ MORE


How Cities and States Are Stepping up to Help Small Businesses in Crisis (Episode 101)

How Cities and States Are Stepping up to Help Small Businesses in Crisis (Episode 101)

Jess Del Fiacco

May 28, 2020

Host Jess Del Fiacco talks with Kennedy Smith, Senior Researcher with ILSR's Independent Business initiative, about efforts at the state and local level to support small businesses affected by the pandemic.READ MORE


Our Big List of Covid-19 Assistance Programs

Our Big List of Covid-19 Assistance Programs

Kennedy Smith

May 26, 2020

We are building an ongoing list of grant and loan programs that can help small, locally owned businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.READ MORE


ILSR & Allies Urge Congress to Act on Small Business Crisis

ILSR & Allies Urge Congress to Act on Small Business Crisis

Zach Freed

April 14, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses shuttered by COVID-19 are at risk of closing for good in the coming weeks. To protect Main Street jobs, workers, and businesses while they hibernate and adapt to save lives during the pandemic, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has joined a range of allies in demanding a federal small business aid program that meets this moment.READ MORE


Share our Infographic on How To Help Local Businesses Weather Covid-19

Share our Infographic on How To Help Local Businesses Weather Covid-19

Kennedy Smith

April 13, 2020

Print this and post it around town, and share it on social media. We can all do our part to help support small businesses weather the Covid-19 pandemic.READ MORE


How State and Local Governments Can Help Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How State and Local Governments Can Help Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Kennedy Smith

April 8, 2020

Cities and states must help support businesses and working families, especially until the federal response meets the scope of the COVID-19 crisis. In some places, that’s already happening. Here are the steps local and state governments have taken so far to shelter small businesses from the virus’s vast economic turmoil.READ MORE


The Pandemic is Pushing Main Street Toward Collapse (Episode 95)

The Pandemic is Pushing Main Street Toward Collapse (Episode 95)

Jess Del Fiacco

March 25, 2020

Stacy Mitchell speaks with Sandy Grodin, a small business owner, about the catastrophic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on small businesses across the country.READ MORE


In American Prospect: The Imminent Small-Business Collapse and What Can be Done to Stop It

In American Prospect: The Imminent Small-Business Collapse and What Can be Done to Stop It

Stacy Mitchell

March 23, 2020

In the American Prospect, ILSR's Co-Director Stacy Mitchell explains the unprecedented economic crisis that small businesses are now confronting, particularly if the federal government doesn't respond promptly and comprehensively.READ MORE


What the Federal Government Needs to Do to Enable Small Businesses to Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

What the Federal Government Needs to Do to Enable Small Businesses to Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

Stacy Mitchell

March 19, 2020

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance — together with more than a dozen national and local small business organizations — have put forward a proposal for how the federal government should help small businesses survive this crisis. We expect to refine this plan as things develop.READ MORE


COVID-19 Pandemic: What Small Businesses Can Do

COVID-19 Pandemic: What Small Businesses Can Do

Kennedy Smith

March 19, 2020

Small businesses are finding creative ways to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, from curbside pickups to online cooking lessons. Here are additional resources they can tap into to cover their expenses and pay their staff during this crisis.READ MORE


More Cities Pass Laws to Block Dollar Store Chains

More Cities Pass Laws to Block Dollar Store Chains

Charlie Thaxton

September 26, 2019

Fueled by easy cash from Wall Street, two dominant chains are opening thousands of dollar stores across urban and rural communities, and causing economic distress nationwide. Inspired by ILSR’s research, a growing number of cities, including Birmingham, Cleveland, and New Orleans, are now taking legislative action to block new dollar stores and support local grocery store development instead. We take a closer look at this national movement.READ MORE


Video: Stacy Mitchell talks Amazon, Concentration, and Building Resilient Local Economies

Video: Stacy Mitchell talks Amazon, Concentration, and Building Resilient Local Economies

Stacy Mitchell

April 15, 2019

ILSR co-director Stacy Mitchell was the guest for a special edition of Strong Towns' webcast earlier this year. Stacy spoke with Strong Towns co-founder and President, Chuck Marohn on topics like Amazon, tax incentives, retail concentration, and big-box stores.READ MORE


Maps Show Alarming Pattern of Dollar Stores’ Spread in U.S. Cities

Maps Show Alarming Pattern of Dollar Stores’ Spread in U.S. Cities

Marie Donahue

February 20, 2019

Original maps from eight U.S. cities show how numerous dollar stores have become in urban America and reveal a striking pattern between dollar store locations and neighborhood income and race. We discuss each local context, presenting evidence for why these patterns have emerged and how some cities are beginning to check the spread of dollar chains.READ MORE


Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back.

Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back.

Stacy Mitchell

December 6, 2018

Although dollar stores sometimes fill a need in places that lack basic retail services, there’s growing evidence that these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress. They’re a cause of it. In small towns and urban neighborhoods alike, dollar stores are leading full-service grocery stores to close. And their strategy of saturating communities with multiple outlets is making it impossible for new grocers and other local businesses to take root and grow.READ MORE


Fact Sheet: The Impact of Dollar Stores and How Communities Can Fight Back

Fact Sheet: The Impact of Dollar Stores and How Communities Can Fight Back

Marie Donahue

December 6, 2018

National dollar store chains, including Dollar General and Dollar Tree, have seen huge growth over the past decade. These stores are also feeding more Americans than Whole Foods is. New research from ILSR's Community-Scaled Economy Initiative documents the rapid rise of dollar stores and their damaging effects on the local economies of cities and small towns. Explore our two-page fact sheet to learn more about dollar store impacts and strategies to take action.READ MORE


Reining in Dollar Stores (Episode 59)

Reining in Dollar Stores (Episode 59)

Hibba Meraay

November 15, 2018

Co-hosts Stacy Mitchell and Marie Donahue speak with Tulsa City Councilwoman, Vanessa Hall-Harper. Earlier this year, the city council of Tulsa, Oklahoma passed an ordinance restricting dollar stores from building new locations in north Tulsa, a predominantly African-American area.READ MORE


Want to Strengthen Independent Businesses? Use These Policies (Episode 51)

Want to Strengthen Independent Businesses? Use These Policies (Episode 51)

Nick Stumo-Langer

July 26, 2018

Host Nick Stumo-Langer is joined by researchers Stacy Mitchell and Olivia LaVecchia to discuss their new guide to policy tools that strengthen independent businesses.READ MORE


Local Policy Matters: How to Grow Independent Businesses in Your City

Local Policy Matters: How to Grow Independent Businesses in Your City

Marie Donahue

July 17, 2018

This toolkit offers independent business owners concrete tips for engaging with their city officials and advocating for policies that strengthen and grow local businesses. The featured policy platform outlines policies local governments can use with on-the-ground stories of communities that have implemented these policies to support independent businesses.READ MORE


As Amazon Moves to Capture Local Government Spending, Here’s What You Can Do

As Amazon Moves to Capture Local Government Spending, Here's What You Can Do

Olivia LaVecchia

July 10, 2018

A recent contract opens the way for billions of dollars in local government spending to shift to Amazon. The good news is that, for concerned citizens and public officials, Amazon's push into the public sector offers a way to take action at the local level and start a concrete conversation about Amazon’s power and what we should do about it. In this fact sheet, we outline three strategies to use to take action.READ MORE


In Cities Around the Country, New Action on Commercial Affordability

In Cities Around the Country, New Action on Commercial Affordability

Olivia LaVecchia

March 27, 2018

As independent businesses are grappling with the rising cost of rent in many U.S. cities, a new strategy is catching on: Policies that set-aside space for local businesses in new development. Here's a look at three new programs that show how this tool can work — and offer examples of a step that cities can take to strengthen locally owned businesses.READ MORE


Watch San Francisco’s AnMarie Rodgers on How the City’s Formula Business Policy Works

Watch San Francisco's AnMarie Rodgers on How the City's Formula Business Policy Works

ILSR

December 5, 2017

In this 30-minute talk, AnMarie Rodgers, Senior Policy Advisor in the City of San Francisco Planning Department, breaks down the nuts-and-bolts of San Francisco's pioneering formula business ordinance. She talks about how the city implemented the policy, how it works and how well it works — and what advice she has for other cities that want to do it too.READ MORE


Watch ILSR’s Olivia LaVecchia on Strategies for Cities to Support Locally Owned Businesses

Watch ILSR's Olivia LaVecchia on Strategies for Cities to Support Locally Owned Businesses

Olivia LaVecchia

December 5, 2017

In this 20-minute talk, ILSR's Olivia LaVecchia breaks down strategies that cities can use to support their local economy.READ MORE


ILSR Moderates Workshop at the National League of Cities Conference on “Creating a City Where Small Businesses Thrive”

ILSR Moderates Workshop at the National League of Cities Conference on “Creating a City Where Small Businesses Thrive”

Stacy Mitchell

December 5, 2017

A thriving small business sector leads to more job growth, less inequality, higher median incomes, and stronger social bonds in your community. Yet aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have it easy. To help city leaders address the challenges facing independent businesses, ILSR organized and moderated a workshop at the City Summit 2017 conference put on by the National League of Cities in November.READ MORE


What Neighborhood Retail Gets Right (Episode 27)

What Neighborhood Retail Gets Right (Episode 27)

Nick Stumo-Langer

August 24, 2017

Gina Schaefer, the founder and owner of several local hardware stores in Washington, D.C., joins us to talk about starting and growing a neighborhood business and how her stores are faring in the age of Amazon.READ MORE


Watch: How Cities Can Create a Built Environment Where Local Businesses Thrive

Watch: How Cities Can Create a Built Environment Where Local Businesses Thrive

Olivia LaVecchia

May 9, 2017

Cities are changing to become increasingly inhospitable to locally owned businesses. In this 20-minute talk, ILSR's Olivia LaVecchia discusses what's causing the problem, why it matters — and six policy strategies that cities are using to address it.READ MORE


Local Governments Are Increasingly Buying from Amazon. Here’s Why They Need to Stop.

Local Governments Are Increasingly Buying from Amazon. Here’s Why They Need to Stop.

Olivia LaVecchia

April 4, 2017

Local governments are increasingly turning to Amazon for their buying needs. When they do, though, citizens lose. Here's why you should be concerned about this spreading trend — and 5 things you can do.READ MORE


ILSR’s Testimony at New York City Hearing on Retail Diversity and Neighborhood Character

ILSR's Testimony at New York City Hearing on Retail Diversity and Neighborhood Character

Olivia LaVecchia

October 10, 2016

At a recent New York City Council hearing, ILSR submitted testimony examining the importance of locally owned businesses to the City, the crisis affecting them, and examples of effective and proven policy strategies to level the playing field for these businesses.READ MORE


Watch: Policy Tools That Enable Local Businesses to Thrive

Watch: Policy Tools That Enable Local Businesses to Thrive

ILSR

September 7, 2016

For too long, public policy has rigged the market to favor big corporations and undermine small, locally owned businesses, especially those launched by women and people of color. In this video of a panel session at the CommonBound conference, ILSR's Stacy Mitchell and other leaders discuss how, now, local businesses and activists across the country are working to change the rules to instead support community enterprises.READ MORE


How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

Olivia LaVecchia

April 20, 2016

As the cost of leasing commercial space soars in many U.S. cities, this report examines what's behind the skyrocketing rents and explores six broad policy strategies that cities are proposing to keep space appropriate and affordable for independent businesses.READ MORE


Procurement Can Be a Powerful Tool for Local Economies, but Takes More Than a Policy Change to Work

Procurement Can Be a Powerful Tool for Local Economies, but Takes More Than a Policy Change to Work

Olivia LaVecchia

August 27, 2015

The decision of which firm will get the food service contract at the City Hall cafeteria doesn’t always make it into the news, but local governments spend a lot of money. In towns, counties, and states everywhere, there are roads to be paved, lawyers to be hired, and office supplies to be purchased, and the rules set up to govern those contracts—procurement policies—hold significant potential for governments to grow their local economies.READ MORE


For Cities, Big-Box Stores Are Becoming Even More of a Terrible Deal

For Cities, Big-Box Stores Are Becoming Even More of a Terrible Deal

Olivia LaVecchia

June 16, 2015

Under what has become known as the "dark store" method, big-box retailers are declaring their busy stores to be functionally obsolescent and therefore nearly worthless for tax purposes —and they're winning big judgments for back taxes. It's the latest example of the way that, even as local governments continue to bend over backwards to attract big-box development, these stores are consistently a bad deal for communities.READ MORE


Presentation: Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship in Cities

Presentation: Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship in Cities

ILSR

March 31, 2015

In this 1-hour webinar presentation, ILSR's Stacy Mitchell and others present on how cities can protect and strengthen urban entrepreneurship and local businesses amid rising rents and growing development pressure.READ MORE


The Do-It-Yourselves Downtown

The Do-It-Yourselves Downtown

Olivia LaVecchia

February 23, 2015

There's an emerging model that offers a glimpse of a new, better way for communities to generate economic development. It's called a real estate investment cooperative, and the benefits include new jobs in the neighborhood, local sources for key goods, a return on investment, and more — plus the opportunity for communities to do it themselves.READ MORE


Why North Dakotans Should Vote to Keep the State’s Unique Pharmacy Law this Election Day

Why North Dakotans Should Vote to Keep the State's Unique Pharmacy Law this Election Day

Olivia LaVecchia

November 3, 2014

This Tuesday, North Dakota voters will decide the fate of the state's Pharmacy Ownership Law. Those working against the law—namely Walmart, which has sunk more than $3 million into a front group called North Dakotans for Lower Pharmacy Prices—contend that abandoning the long-standing policy would lead to an increase in the number of pharmacies serving North Dakota. Our research suggests just the opposite.READ MORE


Report: North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law Leads to Better Pharmacy Care

Report: North Dakota's Pharmacy Ownership Law Leads to Better Pharmacy Care

Stacy Mitchell

October 20, 2014

What a difference local ownership makes. Under a forward-thinking 1963 law, North Dakota does not allow chains to operate pharmacies. Instead, virtually all of the state's 171 pharmacies are locally owned and independent. In this data-driven study, ILSR finds that North Dakotans receive significantly better pharmacy care by every measure, from some of the lowest drug prices in the nation to unparalleled access, particularly in rural areas.READ MORE


A Localist Agenda: Policy and Politics for Building a Community-Scaled Economy (Video)

A Localist Agenda: Policy and Politics for Building a Community-Scaled Economy (Video)

Stacy Mitchell

October 1, 2014

In this panel at the New Economy Coalition's 2014 conference, ILSR's Stacy Mitchell, together with Barry Lynn of Open Markets and Aaron Bartley of PUSH Buffalo, talk about crafting a countervailing political narrative and shared policy framework for devolving economic power and building a community-scaled economy.READ MORE


Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

Stacy Mitchell

April 16, 2014

Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. This analysis finds that, since 2000, bank lending to large businesses is up 36 percent, while small business loan volume has fallen 14 percent and "micro" business loans — those under $100,000 — have plummeted 33 percent.READ MORE


Two Big-Box Decisions Show How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs

Two Big-Box Decisions Show How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs

Stacy Mitchell

April 1, 2014

Although few cities take full advantage of them, planning and zoning powers are among the most potent tools communities have for shaping their economies. Two recent decisions, in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, underscore why land use planning matters and how smart policies can strengthen the local economy and protect good jobs.READ MORE


Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy: Stacy Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

Why We Can't Shop Our Way to a Better Economy: Stacy Mitchell's TEDx Talk

Stacy Mitchell

December 1, 2012

In this TEDx talk, Stacy Mitchell makes the case for a new phase in the local economy movement.READ MORE