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Stacy Mitchell

| Written by admin | 3 Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2011 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Stacy Mitchell directs ILSR’s Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.

Much of Stacy’s work has focused on two pivotal sectors of the economy: retail and banking.  Among the first to raise the alarm about the rise of mega-retailers in the 1990s, Stacy is a nationally recognized leader in the movement to counter their power. Her book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, has appeared on several top-ten lists and was described by Bill McKibben as “the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country.”  Her research and writing on the advantages of devolving economic power have influenced many decision-makers and helped guide grassroots strategies.  She has written for a wide range of publications, including Business Week, Salon, The Nation, Grist, Sojourners, and others. She is regularly quoted in local and national news media and produces a popular monthly newsletter, The Hometown Advantage Bulletin.

Described as “the Joan of Arc of the independent business movement” by national small business leader Betsy Burton, Stacy has led collaborative efforts to build stronger organizing and advocacy networks among local businesses.  She co-founded and coordinates the Advocates for Independent Business, a coalition of national small business organizations.  She was also a founding board member of the American Independent Business Alliance, the New England Local Economy Network, and the Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance.

An engaging speaker, Stacy has been a featured presenter at many national conferences. In October 2012, she gave a provocative and widely discussed TEDx talk on “Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy.”

Stacy lives in Portland, Maine.

Reach her on Twitter @stacyfmitchell or by email at smitchell [at]


  • Samuel McGlone

    Hi Stacy….I wanted to tell you that I think that you are all doing a great job getting this important message out to people. I have been developing a program for many years with the same theme in mind and finally it is ready to go into motion. The website is listed above. I was hoping that I could use some of the articles and text from your website. I could guide a lot of people to your site, but there is so much here, that I think that someone could get lost in it. We are trying to create large alliances of small local businesses and their customers to take this on from a different angle. Although I agree with you that we can not buy our way out of this situation, we can get a lot of traction through what I am developing. We start with a direct mail co-op (direct mail companies are another borderline monopoly industry). The co-op offers great value and will always be led into the customers door with our message. I spoke with AMIBA and I am hoping that maybe we can work with your organization also. We want to have a mutually beneficial relationships that can offer revenues to ILSR. We are looking for like minded people throughout the country that want to help get this message out, especially to the small business community. We have a networked commission program that will pay out for bringing these contacts to us. We could become a very substantial financial supporter for your organization. We are operating as a for profit business, but we are giving a large portion of this business (operating as an LLC with membership units) to the small businesses and consumers. We feel that this will not only keep them emotionally obligated to support it, but creating a financial interest will lock them in. Thanks for any help and advice that you can send my way. Sam McGlone.