Borders Books & Music has abandoned plans to build a superstore on the corner of Sixth and Lamar in downtown Austin, Texas. A community organization, Livable City, had joined local business owners in fighting the development, which was to be built across the street from two long-standing independent stores, BookPeople and Waterloo Records. The city had set aside $2.1 million in public subsidies for the project.
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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
Under a measure introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, the city would notify neighbors whenever a pharmacy or coffee shop wants to open nearby.
Residents would have 30 days to request that the proposed store be subject to a public hearing and formal review by the Planning Commission. Such reviews are normally required only for major demolition or construction, or when there is a change of use, such as from residential to commercial.
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another prescription price survey finds independent pharmacies have lower prices. Continue reading