Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. A new ILSR analysis has found that, since 2000, bank lending to large businesses is up 36 percent, while small business loan volume has fallen 14 percent and “micro” business loans — those under $100,000 — have plummeted 33 percent. To shed light on this problem and help inform policy discussions, ILSR has published an overview of the small business lending landscape.

Two Big-Box Decisions Show How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs

Although few cities take full advantage of them, planning and zoning powers are among the most potent tools communities have for shaping their economies. Two recent decisions, in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, underscore why land use planning matters and how smart policies can strengthen the local economy and protect good jobs.

Faulty Study Ignores Small Business Benefits

Last month, San Francisco’s Office of Economic Analysis issued a new study concluding that the city’s policy restricting the spread of chain stores is harming the local economy. But the OEA’s sweeping conclusion rests on bad data and a deeply flawed analysis that misses many of the benefits of independent business. In this article for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, we detail exactly how the study gets it wrong.

ILSR and AIB Release National Independent Business Survey

A survey of 2,602 independent business owners across the U.S. has found that the Buy Local message is boosting customer traffic and improving the outlook on Main Street. But entrepreneurs also say policymakers need to do more to create a level playing field and ensure that small local businesses have an equal opportunity to compete.

Walmart’s Latest “Buy America” Sham

In a way, Walmart’s Buy America program represents the home stretch of the economic transformation the company set in motion decades ago, when it set out to replace the American middle class, rooted in small business ownership and unionized jobs, with a vast underclass that has little choice but to rely on Walmart’s shoddy, short-lived products.