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FEATURES

26 Actions Local Leaders Can Take to Help Small Businesses

KENNEDY SMITH  |   JULY 30, 2020

ILSR's latest report Safeguarding Small Business During the Pandemic describes 26 actions that community leaders — including local governments, Chambers of Commerce, nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, and other entities — can adopt to help small businesses weather the crisis. These 26 actions are grouped into three priority areas: keeping businesses afloat, helping businesses adapt and pivot, and fixing systemic problems that the pandemic has laid bare. READ MORE

FEATURES

Amazon’s Monopoly Tollbooth

STACY MITCHELL, RON KNOX, & ZACH FREED |  JULY 28, 2020

At yesterday’s Big Tech hearing, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon grilled Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the findings of ILSR’s new report, Amazon’s Monopoly Tollbooth.

The report finds that Amazon’s dominance of online retail means that many small businesses must rely on its site to reach customers. We find that Amazon is exploiting this gatekeeper power to extract a growing cut of the revenue earned by these sellers — including by imposing ever-larger fees on them…. READ MORE

FEATURES

Big Beer

RON KNOX  |  JULY 9, 2020

In Slate, Ron Knox explains that the beer industry is not the craft brewery utopia we like to imagine. Misguided policies have allowed monopolies to dominate the market, creating a bottleneck that undermines small breweries. READ MORE

FEATURES

ILSR's State and Local Policy Guide

STACY MITCHELL & SUSAN R. HOLMBERG  |   JULY 15, 2020

As state and local leaders grapple with how to create a true recovery — one that lifts wages, fosters small businesses, and rebalances power — combating outsized corporate power is a key strategy. Check out ILSR’s guide to antimonopoly policies for states and cities. READ MORE

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

  • The Financial Times covered our ILSR-wide Fighting Monopoly Power report. “State and local officials...have been on the frontlines of the problems caused by excessive concentration in America.”
  • Yesterday, Jeff Bezos testified before the House Antitrust Subcommittee. Stacy offered perspective leading into the hearing in the Washington Post, Politico, Quartz, OneZero, and CNET, among others. 
  • In advance of Bezos’s testimony, ILSR facilitated a press call last week with small business owners and sellers hurt by Amazon
  • ILSR Research Associate Zach Freed is speaking on a RightsCon panel today about Amazon's monopoly power at 3:30 EST. Registration is still open.
  • Last week, the Athena coalition hosted a webinar, which ILSR helped organize, on the ways Amazon preys on communities of color.
  • San Francisco News quoted Stacy in a story about how the city’s bookstores are impacted by COVID-19.
  • Ron talked with WNHN’s The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen about Amazon wielding the pandemic to amass more power and the need to break up Big Beer.

 

NEWS STORIES WE'RE FOLLOWING

  • Amazon lured startups as investors, but then launched competing products that ultimately devastated these businesses

  • Top officials at the US Postal Service are delaying delivery of first-class & priority mail so that clerks can deliver Amazon packages first.

  • During a single day last week, Jeff Bezos’s personal net worth soared by $13 billion — a new record.

  • Meanwhile, a group of unions has filed a complaint with the FTC warning that Amazon’s power has only grown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In Democracy Journal, antitrust advocate Sandeep Vaheesan imagines what a democratic Amazon would look like.

  • After Portland, Oreg. put a limit on how much commission Uber Eats can charge restaurants, the company is now charging a $3 customer fee for food delivery orders.

  • Buzzfeed reports on how the pandemic is destroying Main Street, and that PPP loans won’t save small businesses.

  • Meanwhile, the new deadline for applying for a PPP loan from the SBA is August 8th.
  • Even as the pandemic is bearing down on small businesses, one Kentucky couple decided to buy a hardware store that has been part of their community since 1929. 


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