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Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business

‘Tis the Season for Indie Retailers

| Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Nov 25, 2015 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at
Rebecca Toews


Amid the hype of online and big-box shopping this weekend, it’s easy to overlook the growing popularity of independent retailers. I invite you to contact’s greatest nemesis, Stacy Mitchell, for a story about Main Street’s Black Friday Takeover.
You’ve probably seen Stacy’s research on TedTalksBloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal, where she discusses how we can level the playing field for small business owners in the United States.

“Last year, independent retailers reported 5 percent growth in holiday sales in our national Independent Business Survey. This year, many are expecting even larger gains, with more shoppers seeking out unique, locally owned businesses,”  said Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Recent studies have found that choosing a locally owned business over a national retailer:
  • Keeps dollars local. Buying from your neighborhood shop generates two to three times the economic benefit for the region, because local retailers rely much more heavily on local supply chains, buying goods and services from other businesses nearby.
  • Creates more jobs. An ILSR analysis found that, for every $10 million in consumer spending, local brick-and-mortar stores create 47 jobs, while the same spending at Amazon creates just 19 jobs.
  • Builds a stronger community. Sociologists have found that communities with lots of locally owned businesses and vibrant Main Streets have stronger social networks and more civic engagement.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a 40-year-old national nonprofit research and educational organization. ILSR’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support strong, community rooted, environmentally sound and equitable local economies. For interviews surrounding this announcement, please contact Rebecca Toews: 612-808-0689.