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
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Big retailers are increasingly coming under fire from small and mid-sized manufacturers. Last month, more than 1,000 employees and owners of small manufacturing firms attended a rally in Connecticut to denounce Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, and other chains for forcing large manufacturers to move their factories to China. Continue reading
Since the 1980s, Wal-Mart has received at least $150 million in local, state, and federal subsidies to build 47 distribution centers in 32 states, according to a study by The Palm Beach Post.
Onlythose subsidies that have been quantified in published reports were counted. "That number likely grows by tens of millions when unquantified breaks, such as government bond financing for construction, and ongoing breaks, such as those given to businesses in enterprise zones, are included," the newspaper notes.
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.
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
"When . . . a large development wants to be in your town, you see the tax values surrounding that. . . I think the tendency is to think this is really going to give us a solid foundation," George Fowler, mayor of Pineville, North Carolina, told the Charlotte Observer. "But you don’t realize at that particular point the impact it’s going to have on the services you have to provide."
When you spend $100 at the chain Borders Books & Music, your purchase creates only $13 worth of local economic activity. That same $100 spent at locally owned book or record store generates $45, or more than three times as much local economic activity.
That’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by Civic Economics and published by Livable City in Austin, Texas.
Big box retail, shopping centers, and fast-food restaurants cost taxpayers more than they produce in revenue, according to a fiscal impact analysis in Barnstable, Massachusetts.
The study, conducted by Tischler & Associates, compares the tax revenue generated by different kinds of residential and commercial development with the actual cost of providing public services for each land use. Barnstable is a community of 48,000 people on Cape Cod.
In December, an Oregon jury found Wal-Mart guilty of forcing employees in eighteen stores to work extra hours without pay. A separate jury will determine damages in the class-action lawsuit.
Employees testified that store managers used a variety of tactics to extract unpaid labor, including requiring employees to work after they had punched out for lunch, locking the doors at night to prevent off-the-clock employees from leaving until certain tasks were complete, and manipulating employee timecards.
In October, the Maine Department of Human Services released its third annual survey of prescription prices for fifteen common drugs at 106 independent and chain pharmacies statewide. The ten lowest priced pharmacies (based on the cost of all fifteen drugs combined) were all locally owned drugstores. National chains, including Rite Aid, CVS, and Brooks, had among the highest overall costs. Continue reading