Calvert County, Maryland, has enacted regulations limiting retail stores to 120,000 square feet in the town of Prince Frederick, 75,000 square feet in three other towns, and 25,000 square feet in the rest of the county. The regulations block Wal-Mart’s plans to double the size of its 97,000-square-foot Prince Frederick store, the only Wal-Mart in the county, and to build a new supercenter in the town of Dunkirk. Continue reading
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California taxpayers are spending $86 million a year providing healthcare and other public assistance to the state’s 44,000 Wal-Mart employees, according to a new study by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Industrial Relations. The study, "Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs," found that the average Wal-Mart worker required $730 in taxpayer-funded healthcare and $1,222 in other forms of assistance, such as food stamps and subsidized housing, to get by. Continue reading
In May, Vermont became the seventeenth state in the nation to close a loophole that major chain retailers are using to evade paying state income taxes.
The loophole allows multi-state corporations to shift income made at stores in Vermont to subsidiaries in low- or no-tax states like Delaware and Nevada. Income shifted in this manner, although earned in Vermont, is not subject to the state’s corporate income tax.
"We may look back and think this is one of the most important things we’ve done," said Bristol, Rhode Island, Town Councilor Halsey Herreshoff after the council unanimously passed a formula business ordinance in May. Bristol is a community of 23,000 people about half an hour southeast of Providence.
The ordinance bars formula businesses larger than 2,500 square feet or that take up more than 65 feet of street frontage from locating in Bristol’s historic downtown.
A new study documents more than $1 billion in state and local development subsidies that have flowed to Wal-Mart, and that figure likely represents only the tip of the iceberg.
"Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth," produced by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization, identifies 244 Wal-Mart stores and distribution centers in 35 states that have received subsidies totaling just over $1 billion.
The city of Bennington, Vermont, has enacted a store size cap ordinance that effectively puts an end to attempts by Wal-Mart to build a giant supercenter.
"The concern has been that if a single retailer becomes too large and too powerful it destroys all competition in the marketplace. And we want to avoid that," said Bennington planning director Dan Monks.
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
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.
Business Forum: Teaching People to Think – Badly by David Morris Originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 25, 2004 In 1998, with much fanfare, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis formally launched its “Economic Literacy” initiative. As President Gary Stern explained: “Economic literacy is crucial because it is a measure of whether people… Continue reading
NEWS RELEASE July 2, 2004 For Further Information: Institute for Local Self Reliance Neil Seldman President(202) 898-1610 ext. 210 ZERO WASTE DEFEATS INCINERATOR IN FRANCE Within one month of its introduction in France, the concept and details of Zero Waste were selected as a cost-effective and environmentally sound solid waste management alternative to disposal… Continue reading