The city of Vancouver, Canada, has banned big-box stores in one neighborhood and is studying the possibility of a citywide store size cap . Continue reading
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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
During the week of July 4th, thousands of independent businesses in a dozen cities around the country celebrated Independents Week—seven days of educational and promotional events designed to draw attention to the importance of supporting locally owned businesses.
"The trend of chains displacing our hometown businesses will continue unless communities realize what’s at stake," said Jennifer Rockne, director of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), which organized Independents Week.
As we celebrate our nation’s independence, thousands of small businesses, led by the new and fast-growing American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), are drawing attention to the importance of small-scale, local enterprise in guarding against economic tyranny. Continue reading
Under a city law adopted in March, chains seeking to locate in San Francisco could be required to undergo a public hearing and meet certain conditions before being granted a permit to open.
Sponsored by Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, the ordinance passed on an 8-3 vote by the Board of Supervisors.
Citing Wal-Mart’s failure to provide a decent wage and health benefits for most of its employees, the Albany (New York) County Legislature voted in March to decline a $1,000 donation from the corporation. Continue reading
RKG concluded that Middlebury consumers are spending nearly $7 million elsewhere each year and recommended that the city stem the leakage by enticing Wal-Mart to build a supercenter. But many Middlebury residents refuse to accept the inevitability of the low-wage retailing giant. They have their own ideas about solving Middlebury’s dilemma. They want to open a community-owned department store in the center of town. Continue reading
Taxpayers are picking up the tab for Wal-Mart’s low wages and meager benefits, according to a new congressional report.
Prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and released by Rep. George Miller in February, the report concludes that the federal government is providing an average of $2,100 annually in public assistance per Wal-Mart employee.
In March, voters in Scottsdale, Arizona, overwhelmingly rejected a plan to provide a massive public subsidy for a 42-acre big box development anchored by a Wal-Mart supercenter and a Lowe’s Home Improvement store.
The plan, which was approved by the city council last year, allowed the developer to keep 49 percent of all the sales taxes generated by the shopping center over the next 40 years. Accounting for interest and inflation, the total value of the subsidy is estimated at$183 million.
By a 2-to-1 margin, residents of Peterborough, New Hampshire, voted to reject a plan to build a giant Stop & Shop superstore on the outskirts of town. Peterborough is a community of 6,000 people about an hour west of Manchester.
"We’re a small, closely knit town with strong affection for our local merchants," said Jane LaPointe, one of several residents who spoke out against the development and distributed information on the impacts of big box stores in the weeks leading up to the vote.
Three years ago, after learning that Borders Books & Music planned to open an outlet in Corvallis, Oregon, Jack Wolcott, who has owned a local bookstore, Grass Roots Books & Music, for more than thirty years, contacted Bob Baird of The Book Bin and several other local business owners whose stores were likely to be affected by the chain. They began meeting, at first discussing a possible legal challenge to Borders and ultimately deciding instead to organize local businesses and launch a public education effort. Continue reading