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Watch: Policy Tools That Enable Local Businesses to Thrive

| Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Sep 7, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

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. ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell recently joined with leaders and advocates at the CommonBound conference, held this year in Buffalo, NY, to discuss how, now, local businesses and activists across the country are working to change the rules to instead support community enterprises.

In this session, Mitchell, along with Devita Davison from FoodLab Detroit, Kimber Lanning from Local First Arizona, and Chris Schildt from PolicyLink, take a look at how cities and states can expand financing for local businesses, keep commercial space affordable, end corporate subsidies, better support entrepreneurs of color, and more. Through presentations and discussion, the panelists cover concrete policy tools for building a robust ecosystem for local businesses, as well as new insights on engaging small businesses as allies in building a new economy.


Along with the video of the full session, there’s also this 8-minute clip from Mitchell’s presentation.


CommonBound, of which this session is a part, is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction,, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and ILSR. NEC partnered on the conference with the Buffalo-based Crossroads Collective. The video was filmed at CommonBound 2016 in Buffalo, NY, with videography by the Extraenvironmentalists.

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