To regenerate local businesses, we’ll need more than Buy Local campaigns; we’ll need to change public policy, which now favors big business. In this presentation, Stacy Mitchell looks at seven key policy areas to focus on.
Cape Cod is the rare community that considers regional economic impacts when weighing big-box retail development, and that makes all the difference.
State data reveal that Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, and others offer such low pay and benefits that many of their employees rely on public assistance, at a cost of billions of dollars a year.
Not having to charge sales tax fueled Amazon’s growth for nearly 20 years. While it’s impossible not to see the company as a horse that’s already out the barn door, there’s still good reason to believe that the Marketplace Fairness Act will slow Amazon’s consolidation of retailing and provide benefit to independent businesses.
Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies.
When Michelle Obama visited a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, a few weeks ago to praise the company’s efforts to sell healthier food, she did not say why she chose a store in Springfield of all cities. But, in ways that Obama surely did not intend, it was a fitting choice. This Midwestern city provides a chilling look at where Walmart wants to take our food system.
An annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives and growing public interest in supporting locally owned businesses. But the survey also documented significant 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.
If Walmart will not pay 3 percent more for basic fire safety, if it readily abandons factories when cheaper production can be had elsewhere, if it declines even to come clean about where its goods are made – then how can we buy Walmart’s claim that it will transform factories across Asia into models of sustainability?