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Reining in Monopolies in 2019

ILSR  |  Dec. 27, 2018

In Building Local Power's last episode of 2018, ILSR's Stacy Mitchell, John Farrell, and Chris Mitchell take a look back on developments in the movement against corporate concentration in the past year and reflect on what more it’ll take to grow local power in 2019.

The three cover Amazon, dollar stores, big-box retail, and how all of these rely on the expanding "subprime economy" Americans are subject to. They also discuss massive shifts occurring in the energy sector. 

Listen to the full episode here.

How Phoenix, Ariz., Became an Unlikely Champion of Local Business

ILSR | Nov. 29, 2018

Local First Arizona Director Kimber LanningIn this episode of Building Local Power, Stacy Mitchell speaks with Kimber Lanning, founder of Local First Arizona. A seasoned entrepreneur and community development expert, Kimber has made it her life’s mission to cultivate self-reliant communities. Her work focuses on implementing systems and policies to ensure a level playing field for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the full episode here.



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Our factsheet has stats and strategies you can use at the local level to keep the rapid spread of dollar stores in check. Check it out here.



  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is urging the FTC to open an antitrust investigation of Amazon. In a letter, the senator says that the terms Amazon imposes on sellers who use its platform may be helping it monopolize the online market.
  • For small businesses, one consequence of the government shutdown is that SBA loan approvals have ground to a halt
  • Last year, the U.S. hit a 10-year high in the amount of retail square footage that went dark. Those losses, though, were mostly big-box stores and malls. Local retail has proved more resilient. Independent bookstores, for example, have grown more than 30% since 2009.
  • Trump likes to criticize Amazon on Twitter, but newly public emails show a top official in his administration has been quietly meeting with an Amazon executive. At stake is a huge contract that could give Amazon control of much of federal procurement.
  • Meanwhile, the antitrust agencies employ a revolving-door of economists who also work for big corporations. No wonder, then, that their models almost invariably show that proposed mergers will benefit Americans.
  • The town of Gloster, Miss., is getting its first grocery store in decades. It’s great news — but the story also illustrates how a lack of capital has impeded local entrepreneurs, leaving 1 in 5 Mississippi residents without ready access to fresh food. 
  • Right now, policy tilts the economy in favor of goliath corporations. What would happen if it favored smallness instead
  • Two city council members from Seattle, where Amazon is based, met with officials in New York City to warn them about Amazon's proposed second headquarters in Queens.
  • What happens when markets are no longer governed by public rules? An investigation into Amazon's labyrinthine third-party Marketplace finds fraud and sabotage among sellers, with autocratic verdicts meted out by Amazon’s own court and appeals system.


  • January 26. Washington, D.C. Stacy Mitchell will be speaking at the Winter Policy Meeting of the Mayors Innovation Project. Stacy will be on the panel “Building a Strong, Diverse, and Resilient Local Business Community”.

  • January 29. Online. Stacy Mitchell will be the guest for a “celebrity edition” of the monthly Ask Strong Towns webcast. Stacy will join Strong Towns President Chuck Marohn to discuss building financially resilient communities.

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
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Copyright © 2019 Institute for Local Self-Reliance, All rights reserved.

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