“Watch ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell on Why Cities Need Independent Businesses.”


At about the 14:00 minute mark, Mitchell surveys reasons for sharply rising commercial rents. Using her native Portland ME as an example, she points to a few potential public policy solutions for “market distorting forces.”

It’s music to the ears of indie business owners. The video lasts 24 minutes, which is 24 minutes more than Develop New Albany has contributed to this topic in New Albany during 2017. But it was a pleasant sombrero walk eh?

There needs to be an independent business alliance in New Albany. Just because it hasn’t worked before doesn’t mean it won’t now.

Independent locally-owned small businesses are mistaken to think that this hurdle (sustainability) can be cleared by disengagement, or by waiting for this or any other city government to dictate the terms.

Rather, independent locally-owned small business owners must evade the intended diversion of time spent micromanaging periodic events and instead put their mouths where their money is by heeding the advice of the American Independent Business Alliance and embracing a simple but eloquent truth: “There truly is strength in numbers.”

It’s simple. Of the local officials assigned to “help” small local businesses, how many actually have ever owned a business?

Thought so. Does this even make sense?

Watch ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell on Why Cities Need Independent Businesses, by Stacy Mitchell (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

In this 20-minute talk, ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell looks at why cities need independent businesses, and also at some of the issues that are facing these businesses today — and why cities need to use public policy to respond.

“Ownership matters,” Stacy notes in the talk, citing research that quantifies the benefits of a strong local economy. “Communities that possess a degree of economic self-reliance are also in a better position to solve problems, to take care of one another, to be places that are connected by a network of relationships.”

“There are things affecting local businesses that are driven by the market here, but then there are other forces at work. Things that don’t really have to do with what our needs are locally,” Stacy continues. “That’s really what public policy should adjust.”

Stacy gave this talk in September at an event organized by Portland Buy Local, the independent business alliance in Portland, Me.