Reports from the Independent Business Initiative

Other Recent Reports

2022 Independent Business Survey: Top Challenges and Policy Priorities

2022 Independent Business Survey: Top Challenges and Policy Priorities

ILSR

March 30, 2022

ILSR surveyed 908 small, independent businesses across across the country. We asked about the challenges they face and the policies they believe would improve the survival and success of independent businesses.  READ MORE


Issue Brief: Handcuffed by the Courts

Issue Brief: Handcuffed by the Courts

Ron Knox

March 8, 2022

Beginning in the late 1970s, a series of Supreme Court cases upended U.S. antitrust laws — laws that were once the linchpin of a comprehensive, democratic check on corporate power. This issue brief traverses the history and argues that Congress m  READ MORE


Report: Small Business’s Big Moment

Report: Small Business's Big Moment

Kennedy Smith

January 24, 2022

One of the biggest challenges facing America’s towns and cities is leveling the playing field for small businesses. Our new report shows how civic leaders can use the American Rescue Plan to do just that, which will provide communities and l  READ MORE


Report: Amazon’s Toll Road

Report: Amazon's Toll Road

Stacy Mitchell

December 1, 2021

Amazon is exploiting its position as a gatekeeper to impose steep and growing fees on the small businesses that must rely on its site to reach the online market, our new report finds. Even as these exorbitant fees bankrupt sellers,  READ MORE


Issue Brief: How Amazon Exploits and Undermines Small Businesses, and Why Breaking It Up Would Revive American Entrepreneurship

Issue Brief: How Amazon Exploits and Undermines Small Businesses, and Why Breaking It Up Would Revive American Entrepreneurship

Stacy Mitchell

June 16, 2021

In splashy campaigns and lobbying at the Capitol, Amazon claims that it has “a mutually beneficial relationship” with the small businesses that depend on its platform. This fact sheet tells the real story, and explains what Congress needs to do.  READ MORE


Special Delivery: Our Report Shows How Local Delivery Services are Superior to the Big Apps

Special Delivery: Our Report Shows How Local Delivery Services are Superior to the Big Apps

Kennedy Smith

May 25, 2021

Unlike the predatory Wall Street-backed apps, local delivery services charge lower fees, support restaurants, keep wealth in the community, and demonstrate that when it comes to food delivery, local delivery models are better and more efficient.  READ MORE


Rebuilding Small Business for a Robust Recovery: A Federal Policy Agenda

Rebuilding Small Business for a Robust Recovery: A Federal Policy Agenda

Stacy Mitchell

December 3, 2020

In this policy brief, we argue that moving aggressively to rebuild small, independent businesses and reverse the concentration of corporate power would produce a more vigorous, equitable, and stable recovery. We lay out two dozen policy recommendations across a 6-point  READ MORE


Policy Brief: Local and State Governments Have Marshalled $9.27 Billion for Small Business Relief

Policy Brief: Local and State Governments Have Marshalled $9.27 Billion for Small Business Relief

Kennedy Smith

October 19, 2020

Our research has found that cities, counties, states, and community organizations have established more than 800 programs to provide financial assistance to small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. These programs have deployed more than $9.27 billion in grants  READ MORE


Report: 26 Actions Local Leaders Can Take to Help Small Businesses Weather the Pandemic

Report: 26 Actions Local Leaders Can Take to Help Small Businesses Weather the Pandemic

Kennedy Smith

July 29, 2020

ILSR's latest report describes 26 actions that community leaders — including local governments, local business groups, nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, and other entities — can adopt to help small businesses weather the crisis.  READ MORE


Report: Amazon’s Monopoly Tollbooth

Report: Amazon's Monopoly Tollbooth

Stacy Mitchell

July 28, 2020

In this report, we find that Amazon is exploiting its gatekeeper power to impose ever-larger fees on third-party sellers.  READ MORE


Our Guide Gives State and Local Leaders Tools to Fight Corporate Monopolies

Our Guide Gives State and Local Leaders Tools to Fight Corporate Monopolies

Jess Del Fiacco

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  READ MORE


Report: Fewer Small Businesses are Receiving Federal Relief Loans in States Dominated by Big Banks

Report: Fewer Small Businesses are Receiving Federal Relief Loans in States Dominated by Big Banks

Stacy Mitchell

April 29, 2020

A significantly larger number of federal relief loans are reaching small businesses in states where small, local banks comprise a greater share of the market, compared to states where big banks are more dominant, an ILSR analysis has found.  READ MORE


Survey: Independent Businesses See Major Threats in Amazon, Corporate Concentration

Survey: Independent Businesses See Major Threats in Amazon, Corporate Concentration

ILSR

August 6, 2019

ILSR's Independent Business Survey offers insight and guidance to elected officials looking to build a more equitable, entrepreneurial, competitive, and dynamic economy.  READ MORE


Report: Walmart’s Monopolization of Local Grocery Markets

Report: Walmart’s Monopolization of Local Grocery Markets

Stacy Mitchell

June 26, 2019

In 43 metropolitan areas and 160 smaller markets, Walmart controls 50 percent or more of the local grocery market. No other corporation in history has ever amassed this degree of control over the U.S. food system. Our findings provide a  READ MORE


Report: Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back.

Report: Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back.

Stacy Mitchell

December 6, 2018

Although dollar stores sometimes fill a need in places that lack basic retail services, there’s growing evidence that these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress. They’re a cause of it. In small towns and urban neighborhoods alike, dol  READ MORE


Report: Amazon’s Next Frontier: Your City’s Purchasing

Report: Amazon’s Next Frontier: Your City’s Purchasing

Stacy Mitchell

July 10, 2018

A national contract opens the way for Amazon to take over billions of dollars in local government spending. In this report, we examine the contract and find serious concerns — including that it leaves local governments at risk of being r  READ MORE


Report: Amazon’s Monopoly

Report: Amazon’s Monopoly

Stacy Mitchell

November 29, 2016

Amazon is destroying competition and market diversity, leaving us with fewer choices, less innovation, and diminished opportunities.  READ MORE


Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company's Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

Stacy Mitchell

November 29, 2016

Amazon has extended its tentacles across our economy. In this report, we pull back the curtain on the company, and find that it's at the center of increasing inequality and diminishing opportunity, and that it's concentrating power in ways that  READ MORE


Report: Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business

Report: Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business

Stacy Mitchell

August 10, 2016

Small businesses have been in steep decline. In this report, we argue that anticompetitive behavior by large, dominant corporations is largely to blame and present three reasons to bring a commitment to fair markets for small businesses back into antitrust  READ MORE


How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

Olivia LaVecchia

April 20, 2016

As the cost of leasing commercial space soars in many U.S. cities, this report examines what's behind the skyrocketing rents and explores six broad policy strategies that cities are proposing to keep space appropriate and affordable for independent businesses.  READ MORE