ILSR’s annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives. But the survey also documented challenges facing independent businesses, most notably an increase in “showrooming” and competition from online retailers, tax and subsidy policies that favor their big competitors, difficulty obtaining loans, and a customer base still reeling from the recession. Continue reading
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ILSR’s annual Independent Business Survey gathers data from thousands of locally owned, independent businesses across the country. Continue reading
Our first podcast is with Stacy Mitchell, the heart and soul of our Independent Business and Banking Initiatives. Stacy talked with Lisa about the Initiative and the focus of her current projects. She also offered some strategies for supporting independent business and influencing policy that will strengthen our local economies. The podcast is just over… Continue reading
In this TEDx talk, delivered on October 20, 2012 at TEDxDirigo‘s Villages conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, conference, ILSR Senior Researcher Stacy Mitchell argues for a new phase in the local economy movement. She notes that there’s been a resurgence of support for small farms, local businesses, and community banks, but argues: “As remarkable… Continue reading
Most policymakers don’t imagine that their economic development decisions will affect such things as voter turnout or the prevalence of chronic disease. But a growing body of research is finding that scale and ownership of business matter in ways that extend far beyond economic outcomes. Continue reading
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes itself as "the voice of business." But a growing number of small independent businesses and even local chambers are challenging that notion, arguing that the Chamber’s real allegiance is to the giant corporations that fund it. Continue reading
The two groups that have traditionally spoken for small business in Washington often push an agenda that only big business could love, writes ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell in this commentary for Business Week.
Today, in the New York Times small business blog, Robb Mandelbaum examines the membership of the National Federation of Independent Businesses has plummeted and takes a look at how the group has lobbied for tax loopholes that boost the profits of big chains, while forcing independent businesses to pay more.
Shifting even a modest amount of consumer spending from chains to locally owned businesses would have a major impact on the West Michigan economy, according to a new study. Continue reading
Originally published in the Times Union.
The Capital Region’s future would be much better served by fostering the growth of locally owned businesses, rather than chasing after big-name national retailers. Continue reading