A coalition of neighborhood, small business, and environmental groups has gathered more than 4,000 petition signatures against a proposed Wal-Mart store in Vancouver, Canada. Continue reading
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The Bozeman, Montana city commission is expected to vote later this month on a zoning ordinance that would require proposals for stores larger than 50,000 square feet (less than half the size of a typical Wal-Mart) to undergo an economic impact review before gaining approval.
In every region of the country, chain store developers have successfully played neighboring communities against one another to gain approval for their stores and to exact the biggest tax breaks and public subsidies. But nowhere have city officials been as desperate for sales tax revenue—and thus big box stores, shopping malls, and auto dealerships—than in California, where the competition for retail development has been especially costly and destructive.
British farmers and environmentalists are irate over the government’s new regulations governing the way major supermarket chains deal with their suppliers. The binding Code of Practice was issued in November after an extensive study found that the major supermarket chains routinely use their market power to squeeze farmers, undermine competition, and harm the public interest.
In January, Canada’s university and college bookstores filed a complaint with federal competition officials over attempts by Indigo, the country’s largest book chain, to assume control of campus bookstores. Continue reading
A new Salt Lake City map offers residents and visitors a colorful and handy reference for finding more than 100 unique, locally owned businesses.
The full color, fold-up map was created by the Salt Lake Vest Pocket Business Coalition, an alliance of 200 independent businesses. One side shows the city’s streets, with illustrations of major landmarks and buildings housing local businesses.
Voters in five California cities—Agoura Hills, Mountain View, Reedley, Calexico, and East Palo Alto—went to the polls Tuesday to consider measures on big box development.
AGOURA HILLS: In Agoura Hills, a town of 20,000 north of Los Angeles, voters banned retail stores larger than 60,000 square feet. The measure bars the city from allowing any exceptions to the ordinance; variances can only be granted by voters.
Less than a month after announcing it would replace locally roasted coffee with Starbucks at its Alaska stores, the Safeway supermarket chain is backing down.
A barrage of protest from angry residents and a strongly worded letter from Governor Tony Knowles forced the retailer to reconsider its decision to eliminate two Anchorage roasters in favor of Starbucks at its in-store coffee bars.
In late January, after more than two hours of mostly favorable public testimony, the Board of Commissioners in Hood River County, Oregon voted unanimously to bar new retail stores over 50,000 square feet. The new ordinance also establishes a design review process for new retail buildings between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet.
The ordinance applies to land that lies outside the Hood River town limits, but is still within the community’s urban growth boundary.
San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s President Tom Ammiano has proposed a citywide ordinance that would require retail development projects larger than 50,000 square feet, with the exception of supermarkets, to undergo an impact review and obtain a conditional use permit before building.
The ordinance notes that large retail stores could impact traffic, reduce the diversity of the city’s economic base by eliminating smaller businesses, and preclude higher value industrial development on the few sizable parcels of urban real estate available. For these reasons, according to the ordinance, large retail stores warrant added scrutiny.