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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, where she directs initiatives on independent business and community banking. She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her recent TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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Photo: neighborhood business
Featured Article filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2014

Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/understanding-small-business-credit-crunch/

Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. A new ILSR analysis has found 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. To shed light on this problem and help inform policy discussions, ILSR has published an overview of the small business lending landscape. Continue reading

Graph: Change in Volume of Bank Loans to Businesses, by Loan Size, 2000-2012
Resource filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 15, 2014

Change in Volume of Bank Loans to Businesses, by Loan Size, 2000-2012

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/change-volume-bank-loans-businesses-loan-size-2000-2012/

Since 2000, the overall volume of business lending per capita at banks has grown by 26 percent, but this expansion has entirely benefited large businesses. Small business loan volume at banks is down 14 percent and micro business loan volume is down 33 percent. Continue reading

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Resource filed under Banking | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 15, 2014

SBA Loans Decrease in Number, Double in Size

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/sba-loans-decrease-number-double-size/

Over the last few years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has dramatically reduced its support for smaller small businesses and shifted more of its loan guarantees to larger small businesses. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2014

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

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/smart-planning-policies-protect-good-jobs-cities-vote-big-boxes/

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. Continue reading

Photo: San Francisco Starbucks
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2014

Faulty Study Ignores Small Business Benefits

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/bogus-chain-store-study-ignores-small-business-benefits/

Last month, San Francisco’s Office of Economic Analysis issued a new study concluding that the city’s policy restricting the spread of chain stores is harming the local economy. But the OEA’s sweeping conclusion rests on bad data and a deeply flawed analysis that misses many of the benefits of independent business. In this article for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, we detail exactly how the study gets it wrong. Continue reading

Image: First Slide in Presentation
Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 19, 2014

Findings of the 2014 Independent Business Survey

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

This presentation presents the key findings of the 2014 Independent Business Survey. It includes new data on the impact of “buy local” campaigns; a ranking of the biggest challenges facing small businesses, from online competitors to the difficulty of obtaining financing; and information on the public policy changes that small business owners believe would most help their businesses. Continue reading

Image: Environmental Action Walmart Webcast
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 19, 2014

Webcast: ILSR & Allies Respond to Walmart’s Environmental Claims

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/webcast-ilsr-responds-walmarts-environmental-claims/

When Walmart’s top executives organized a live broadcast event to present what they claimed was progress in greening the company’s operations, ILSR joined with leaders of OUR Walmart and Environmental Action to produce a live webcast response attended by hundreds of environmental activists. Click through to watch our 45-minute event. Continue reading

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ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2014

‘Buy Local’ Message Resonates Among Residents: Survey

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/buy-local-message-resonates-residents-survey/

Credit Union Times, February 6, 2014 As the number of credit unions supporting small businesses through cash mobs continues to grow, the industry’s interest may be in line with communities that favor patronizing local shops. According to a survey of 2,602 small business owners conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit research… 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 http://www.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