Banff, like many communities in western Canada, is facing a growing influx of multinational chains. Determined to save their community from becoming"Anyplace, North America," Banff officials are investigating ways to buck the chain store trend. Luckily, they are not in uncharted territory. Communities across the continent have devised effective strategies for limiting chains and nurturing locally owned businesses. 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
Saving Banff by Stacy Mitchell originally published in Calgary Herald, June 27, 2003 Banff, like many communities in western Canada, is facing a growing influx of multinational chains ["Banff fears 'corporate branding' of resort"]. Stores like The Gap and Starbucks are multiplying rapidly, undermining the unique character of this lovely mountain town and displacing locally… Continue reading
Citizens in Front Royal, Virginia, a town of 13,000 in the Shenandoah Valley, are organizing to block a 184,000-square-foot Wal-Mart superstore. The development is slated for 121-acre tract of flood plain land bordering the south fork of the Shenandoah River. In order to proceed, Wal-Mart must convince the town to re-zone the land from residential to commercial.
Residents have organized under the banner "Save Our Gateway" to fight the project.
Local businesses, nonprofit organization, and residents are uniting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to bolster the local economy and build a more self-reliant community.
The Santa Fe Independent Business Community Alliance (SFIBCA) formed in December and has already attracted more than 370 members. About 60 percent of the members are independent businesses supplying a broad range of goods and services: bookstores, pharmacies, banks, radio stations, auto repair shops, accountants, printers, builders, beauty salons, and physicians.
In February, the city of Bozeman, Montana, enacted an ordinance limiting retail stores to no more than 75,000 square feet. The measure makes permanent a temporary moratorium on construction of large retail stores in place for the past year.
The ordinance was approved by a 3-2 vote of the City Commission and took effect on March 21.
After a ten-month investigation of Wal-Mart, Mexican antitrust officials have imposed a code of conduct on the company and other large supermarket chains.
The Mexican Federal Competition Commission (CFC) launched the investigation last May to determine whether Wal-Mart was using its market power to pressure suppliers into providing prices substantially lower than those available to other retailers (after accounting for reasonable volume discounts).
"Now you know who really has your interests at heart," reads a recent advertisement in the Cape Cod Times that explains that a locally owned business returns a much larger share of its revenue to the local economy compared to an absentee-owned chain.
The ad is part of a series of ads published in Cape Cod newspapers last fall by a new grassroots organization called the Smart Planning and Growth Coalition (SPGC).
The town of Powell, Wyoming, is one of a growing number of places where residents are opening community-owned department stores. More than 800 shares of stock in the Powell Mercantile, priced at $500 each, were purchased by approximately 500 local investors. The 10,000-square-foot store, which sells mostly mid-range clothing and shoes, opened in July and has turned a profit ever since. Continue reading
A dozen independent businesses in Charleston, West Virginia, have banded together to promote one another and the idea of supporting locally owned businesses.
In November, the group began running print, television, and radio advertisements. The print ads read, "Supporting your locally owned stores keeps your dollars in our community.
Supermarket chains in the northeast are using their market power to reap record profits on milk at the expense of both dairy farmers and consumers, according to a new report.
The findings are fueling legislative efforts in several New England states to rein in the power of grocery chains. One proposal in Maine would tax big box retailers to support dairy farms.