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Rebuilding Small Business: Our Policy Guide for Biden and Congress

STACY MITCHELL  |   DEC. 3, 2020

In this new report, we argue that moving aggressively to rebuild small, independent businesses and reverse the concentration of corporate power would produce faster job growth, lift wages, and lead to a more vigorous and equitable recovery. And we lay out more than 20 policy recommendations — including many steps that the Biden Administration can take on its own, plus legislation that Congress should move. Read the report.

Take action: Please share this with your Members of Congress! 


Kennedy Smith Talks to Mayors About How to Aid Local Businesses

KENNEDY SMITH  |   NOV. 30, 2020

ILSR Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith talked to the Mayors' Institute on City Design about how to help Main Street businesses survive the pandemic. Kennedy provided a three-tier framework based on her 26 Strategies for Local Leaders report that mayors can use to support independent businesses and main street districts during the pandemic: 1) provide urgent economic relief; 2) help businesses adapt and pivot; and 3) tackle systemic problems that have been laid bare by the pandemic. Watch Kennedy’s talk here.

ILSR’s 2020 Annual Report

Our resolve to rein in corporate power and reinvigorate democracy is stronger than ever, but we need your help. Check out our annual report to see what we accomplished this year. And please consider making a year-end donation to support ILSR’s work. Thank you! 

ICYMI: Small Business & the Left

In The Nation, Stacy Mitchell and Susan R. Holmberg argue that the left should once again embrace small business. Doing so is crucial to countering corporate power, reversing inequality & rescuing democracy. It’s also key to winning Congress. Read the article here.


  • Stacy Mitchell appeared on the Strong Towns podcast, where she discussed how concentrated corporate power is gaining even more ground during the pandemic and the growing pushback. Tune in!
  • Equal Times quoted Ron Knox about why Amazon needs to be reigned in. “[Amazon] has a record of mistreating employees...and [there’s] disturbing evidence of Amazon ignoring and flouting safety protocols during the pandemic.”
  • Stacy spoke to Axios about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. It "entrenched Amazon’s power as an online retailer in a number of ways," including giving it "a new cache of data on how a particularly lucrative demographic behaves in an offline shopping environment."
  • Ron was also quoted in the Duluth News Tribune about why big chains don’t need subsidies from local communities. "If [Costco executives think] they're going to make money somewhere, then a Costco is going to move there," Knox said. "They do not need a public handout in order to do so."
  • Amidst this holiday season, several outlets are re-upping ILSR research on how to help small businesses recover from the pandemic, and why it’s important for communities to shop local.


From informing policymakers to shaping media coverage, ILSR's research is
making an impact. Please help us work to create an economy that's more
competitive, equitable, and prosperous by making a donation today.

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Copyright © 2020 Institute for Local Self-Reliance, All rights reserved.

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