Policy Tools

In-Depth

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


ILSR Submits Recommendations for Antitrust Reform to Congressional Committee

ILSR Submits Recommendations for Antitrust Reform to Congressional Committee

Zach Freed

May 11, 2020

Stacy Mitchell provides the House Judiciary Committee with recommendations for future antitrust legislation.... 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


Report: Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business

Report: Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business

Stacy Mitchell

August 10, 2016

Small businesses have been in steep decline. In this report, we argue that anticompetitive behavior by large, dominant corporations is largely to blame and present three reasons to bring a commitment to fair markets for small businesses back into antitrust policy. The report won an award for antitrust scholarship in 2017.... 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


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


Factsheets & Infographics

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

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

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


Featured Articles

6 Ways to Rein In Today’s Monopolies

6 Ways to Rein In Today’s Monopolies

Stacy Mitchell

February 16, 2018

Monopolies are strangling competition and cutting off opportunity. In this feature for The Nation, we show how to stop them.... READ MORE


In Jersey City, a Policy Fosters Local Independent Businesses

In Jersey City, a Policy Fosters Local Independent Businesses

Olivia LaVecchia

December 14, 2017

In downtown Jersey City, a familiar story is playing out: Independent business owners have helped foster neighborhood growth, and now, chain stores are interested in sweeping in with their own locations. What's different in Jersey City is that the city has taken proactive steps to check this common cycle, and instead, build a model that allows for more opportunity for local entrepreneurs.... 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


How Washington Punishes Small Business

How Washington Punishes Small Business

Stacy Mitchell

May 8, 2015

In our op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, we look at how much of our public policy seems to designed to bend the market in the favor of big corporations, and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage.... 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


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


Audio & Video

How Phoenix Became an Unlikely Champion of Local Business (Episode 60)

How Phoenix Became an Unlikely Champion of Local Business (Episode 60)

Hibba Meraay

November 29, 2018

We talk with Kimber Lanning, founder of Local First Arizona, about her organization's pioneering work to strengthen Arizona's entrepreneurs and its local economy.... 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


Want Your City to Prosper? Then Forget Everything You Think You Know about Economic Growth (Episode 37)

Want Your City to Prosper? Then Forget Everything You Think You Know about Economic Growth (Episode 37)

Nick Stumo-Langer

January 11, 2018

In this episode of ILSR's Building Local Power podcast, Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns sits down with Stacy Mitchell to discuss why the conventional wisdom about economic growth often leads communities down a dark path of decay.... READ MORE


San Francisco Breaks the Chain Stores, Strengthens Neighborhood Economies (Episode 31)

San Francisco Breaks the Chain Stores, Strengthens Neighborhood Economies (Episode 31)

Nick Stumo-Langer

October 19, 2017

San Francisco has one-third as many chain stores as the national average. That's thanks in large part to a city ordinance that restricts "formula" businesses. We talk with AnMarie Rodgers, senior policy advisor to the city’s planning department, about how the city implemented the policy, how it works, and what advice she has for other cities that want to do it too.... READ MORE


How Big Businesses Get Big Subsidies (Episode 23)

How Big Businesses Get Big Subsidies (Episode 23)

Nick Stumo-Langer

June 29, 2017

In this episode of our podcast, Building Local Power, ILSR's Stacy Mitchell interviews Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First about the tax incentive packages that governments give to big corporations, and how local governments can do economic development better.... 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


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