Owners of a small business in Birmingham, Alabama, near the site of a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter, have filed suit against the city for giving the retailing giant a $10 million subsidy. Southeast Meats of Pelham, in operation for over two decades, contends the handout gives Wal-Mart an unfair advantage. The suit also asserts that the city improperly threatened to use eminent domain to force owners of the Wal-Mart property to sell. Continue reading
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Speech on the harm superstores do to communities and local economies, and what citizens can do about it, delivered in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, on October 8, 2003. Continue reading
This report, a collaboration between the Institute of Local Self-Reliance and The Preservation Trust of Vermont, outlines why locally owned businesses matter and provides practical ways to build a homegrown economy. Most strategies are applicable anywhere, not just Vermont. Continue reading
Mad in the USA by Stacy Mitchell Originally published on Alternet, September 8, 2003 More than 1,000 people attended a rally a few weeks ago in Connecticut to demand fair trade and denounce the sweatshop buying habits of big retailers like Wal-Mart. The speakers were passionate, the crowd pumped. But this rally differed from the… Continue reading
Three times as much money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses instead of large chain stores, according to this analysis, which tracked the revenue and expenditures of eight locally owned businesses in Midcoast Maine and compared their economic impact with that of a large big-box retailer. Continue reading
Three times as much money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses instead of large chain stores, according to an analysis by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine.
The study tracked the revenue and expenditures of eight locally owned businesses in the Maine towns of Rockland, Camden, and Belfast. The businesses—which represented a range of goods and services—collectively employed 62 people and had sales of $5.7 million in 2002.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez has introduced legislation requiring that neighbors be notified whenever a formula retail store or restaurant seeks to open in their neighborhood. Residents would have the option of requesting a public hearing and formal review by the Planning Commission. Continue reading
As big box stores and chain retailers consume more and more undeveloped land, polluted runoff from their parking lots is placing an ever greater burden on the nation’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Storm water control measures and filtration systems produce only modest improvement, according to experts. A better solution is to channel commerce back into compact downtowns and neighborhood business districts, which are far less polluting. Continue reading
In an effort to prevent further consolidation of small storefronts into large chain outlets along the Third Street Promenade, the city of Santa Monica has adopted an ordinance that limits stores to no more than 50 linear feet of street frontage. The City Council has also directed city staff to compile data on the number of formula businesses in the district and draft options for limiting their proliferation.
"Secede from Starbucks Nation" is the tagline of a new advertising campaign by the small town of Excelsior, Minnesota. The tongue-and-cheek ads take jabs at chain stores and promote Excelsior as a place where one-of-a-kind, locally owned businesses are embraced.