News Roundup › Stay Local!
Jun 5 2012
For new crowdfunding site, Lucky Ant, the idea behind Kickstarter’s success means more than stardom for previously undiscovered artists. Lucky Ant hopes to do for local businesses what Kickstarter does for musicians by showcasing the value and relevance of a neighborhood’s small business and generating revenues through a group effort to help sustain, and grow, their local faves. A tip jar for the 21st century, there are so many ways to support your local independent!
May 8 2012
Nov 10 2010
“This is the most productive ecosystem in North America, on this continent, right here in the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “The repercussions of this oil spill, the repercussions of this hurricane, the statistics prove, the facts prove there are national and international repercussions. Every taxpayer in this country is paying for the loss and the degradation of this ecosystem.”
Aug 17 2009
Jul 29 2009
May 27 2008
So what are intelligent responses to our predicament? First, we’ll have to dramatically reorganize the everyday activities of American life. We’ll have to grow our food closer to home, in a manner that will require more human attention. In fact, agriculture needs to return to the center of economic life. We’ll have to restore local economic networks — the very networks that the big-box stores systematically destroyed — made of fine-grained layers of wholesalers, middlemen and retailers.
May 14 2008
May 8 2008
“Last week, I had to get a part for my kitchen overhead vent,” said Dan Rubchinuk, 26, of Putney, shopping for gloves and a coffee press Friday at Brown & Roberts. “I call here and they spend five minutes on the phone with me. I call Home Depot and spend 15 minutes on hold while the person tries to figure out what I’m talking about.”
Apr 28 2008
Apr 19 2008
Jan 4 2008
Dec 7 2007
“Ultimately, we need to make the connection at the policy level of what these commercial corridors and micro-businesses mean to the economy,” Eness said.
“What would happen if the large government grants awarded as part of the recovery effort had been broken up and given to these businesses? What kind of transformation would we see then?” Eness asked.
Nov 21 2007
Today, though, Wal-Mart’s influence over the retail universe is slipping. In fact, the industry’s titan is scrambling to keep up with swifter rivals that are redefining the business all around it. It can still disrupt prices, as it did last year by cutting some generic prescriptions in the United States to $4. But success is no longer guaranteed.
Announcing Release of the Big Box Evaluator Website and Tool: The tool that helps you learn about the impacts of big box retail stores
Nov 21 2007
Available free to the public at www.bigboxevaluator.org, the web-based interface allows users to learn about commercial and retail development in general, but also to input specific information from their communities and receive customized reports on economics, values, planning and municpal services, and ways to improve the development process.
Nov 21 2007
Now, Ms. Birk said, the city is nurturing the cycling industry, and there are about 125 bike-related businesses in Portland, including companies that make bike racks, high-end components for racing bikes and aluminum for bikes mass-produced elsewhere. There are small operations that make cycling hats out of recycled fabric. Track, road and cyclo-cross races are held year-round, and state tourism groups promote cycling packages. There is Ms. Birk’s firm, which had two employees in Portland in 1999 and now has 14. There are nonprofit advocacy groups and Web sites, including www.bikeportland.org, that are devoted to cycling issues and events in Portland.
Nov 6 2007
Nov 6 2007
Kercheval said he expects representatives of many chains to leave this week’s conference with an interest in looking more closely at New Orleans for opportunities. A speech by Mayor Ray Nagin to the group Monday went a long way toward impressing attendees, he said.
“Nagin in front of that group was very important to those guys. He was saying, ‘I’m with you guys.’ That’s a strong positive impression ( on attendees) for New Orleans,” he said.
Oct 18 2007
Third-generation owner Mike Massey said that locally owned Massey’s Outfitters, which offers a line of back-packing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and other outdoor equipment, has three existing locations in Baton Rouge, Covington and on Severn Avenue in Metairie. To date the Severn store has doubled as the company headquarters. That store will remain open, but all administration will be moved into the city, along with 20 to 30 jobs.
Rolling Back Property Tax Payments: How Wal-mart Short-changes Schools And Other Public Services By Challenging Its Property Assessments
Oct 11 2007
Yet what Wal-Mart does not disclose in site fights—but is revealed for the first time in a new report by Good Jobs First—is the extent to which the company later in effect concedes the point about reduced property values. Once a store has been in operation for a while, Wal-Mart frequently challenges the assessed value that local officials assign to it for tax purposes. In an effort to cut the property tax it pays to local governments—revenue that pays for public education, police and fire protection and other vital services—Wal-Mart routinely tries to belittle the value of its own facilities.
Oct 8 2007
“This rat-infested property has ben abandoned for two years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. We are tired of it, so we’re cleaning it up and boarding it up,” … . The abandoned Taco Bell on Bullard Avenue has been an eyesore for two years. The grass is overgrown, The owner has so far refused to clean it up.
Oct 2 2007
“My family has owned and operated grocery stores since 1960,” said Rouse, “but these will be our first locations in New Orleans itself. We are very happy that A&P chose to work with a Louisiana-based independent instead of a national chain. It’s important to the rebuilding process of south Louisiana that local companies like ours invest in our state.”
Sep 15 2007
Rouses, an independent family-run company, … currently operates 16 stores in Louisiana, including four in the metro area. The chain has been eager to step up its presence in the New Orleans area and its involvement in the region’s post-Hurricane Katrina recovery.
“Who better than us to do it?” asked Donald Rouse, president of the company. “I don’t think a chain from out-of-state can come in and understand what’s going on, and we understand it and live it.”
Jun 19 2007
Thanks to new and returning businesses opening in 2006, retail sales tax collections in Orleans Parish are emerging from a steep post-Katrina decline. Sales tax collections in Orleans Parish made big gains in January and February compared with the same period in 2006, while revenues for that period declined in Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.
Apr 20 2007
Apr 18 2007
“Small, family-operated and locally-owned businesses like Doerr have marked the progression of New Orleans as a city. After Hurricane Katrina we wanted to demonstrate that better and bigger than ever,” said David Mutter, vice president of Doerr. “Doerr is committed to New Orleans and the Faubourg Marigny. Our family has and will continue to invest in this community. Our renovation is only the beginning of our rebirth as a business and a community. We hope that other small businesses in New Orleans will continue to invest and restore the city to its Old Town charm and prosperity.”
Apr 18 2007
Pease said the representative, an attorney for Victory, mentioned possible tenants but said no commitments had been made. But he gave examples including a 190,000-square-foot Target, an 80,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods, an 80,0000-square-foot Bed Bath & Beyond, a 50,000-square-foot bookstore and a 27,000-square-foot junior anchor.
Mar 7 2007
Mar 7 2007
Home Depot’s chief rival, Lowe’s, also is looking for additional store sites in the area. Weekly sales volume at the Lowe’s on Elysian Fields Avenue climbed by 200 percent to 300 percent after Katrina, making the store one of the 10 highest-volume Lowe’s outlets in the United States, manager Joe Banks said.
Jan 17 2007
Jan 17 2007
Nov 1 2006
Society has a word for driving off in someone’s car without their permission: stealing. Society has a term for going door to door collecting money for charity, but then spending it on Britney Spears videos: obtaining money under false pretenses. Somewhere between those two lies my considered judgment of an audio consumer who takes advantage of a local dealer’s having paid rent, having paid salespeople, and having paid to put inventory on display, who derives genuine benefit from those expenditures, and who then buys from a no-service channel on the basis of lower price—or who uses a dealer’s time and money to decide what it is he wants to buy used, off the Web.
Oct 18 2006
The $1.5 million in grant money will be distributed over five years to four neighborhood commercial districts. They are: Oak Street, from Carrollton Avenue to the levee; St. Claude Avenue, from Elysian Fields Avenue to Press Street; North Rampart Street, from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue; and Oretha C. Haley Boulevard from Philips Street to the Pontchartrain Expressway
Sep 29 2006
If buying local can be a rewarding experience for consumers, it is an essential lifeline for most locally-owned businesses, especially in the post-Katrina economy. Making it easier for the two to find one another is the aim of a new campaign from Stay Local, the economic development program of the local advocacy group the Urban Conservancy.
Sep 29 2006
Supporters say that buying local produce, meat or dairy products keeps money circulating in the area and Cornell Cooperative Extension estimates that an additional $16 million would flow into the regional economy if everyone in Tompkins County devoted 10 percent of their food purchases to local products. Reducing the miles traveled between farm and plate can also cut down on the consumption of petroleum products and deliver better tasting, more nutritious food.
Aug 29 2006
Aug 23 2006
Rising competition from suburban shopping malls has been a major impetus for the emergence of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Most shopping malls provide comprehensive branding and marketing strategies for hundreds of stores in addition to free and secure parking and consistent design standards. Shopping malls charge all stores a “common area maintenance” charge, or CAM, to fund these benefits. Before the existence of BIDs, shops along a main street or within a central business district had no comparable means to collectively market themselves.
Aug 9 2006
Welcome to the world of “objective” economists, economic developers, and business leaders who believe that the future of their community depends on Wal-Mart and Borders. Despite the nearly one hundred “Local First” campaigns around the country, fervent opposition is also growing. So, to prepare you and thousands of other independent businesses for the battles ahead, let me share a half dozen of the most common arguments circulating and how best to respond to them.
Aug 9 2006
Jonesing for some mags?
Beth’s Books is now selling magazines! Beth’s Books is located on Port & Chartres, next to Sound Cafe.
Aug 9 2006
“This business will bring customers and employees into an area that needs recovery,” said Schulkens. “It will also bring needed tax revenues to this struggling city’s coffers.”
Aug 9 2006
In Westwego’s town square, bounded by Sala Avenue and Avenue A, dozens of vendors will sell seafood and crafts, with some eventually setting up booths on the adjacent grassy knoll, said Jules Legarde, engineering consultant for the project.
Aug 9 2006
Lawyer Virginia Boulet, another former mayoral contender tapped by Nagin as an adviser, said she is working on incentive plans to lure big-box, discount and high-end retailers to the city.
Jun 27 2006
But the shocking devastation that lingers in Lakeview is only part of the story. The other part — the part that local entrepreneurs and corporate real estate managers are working on — is happening in leasing offices, architects’ studios and behind the plywood that covers windows of buildings now under renovation.
“We’ve never been busier,” says Robert Lupo, CEO of Lupo Enterprises, which owns 150 commercial spaces in the Lakeview area, including approximately 80 percent of the commercial real estate on Harrison Avenue.
Jun 29 2005
“Cafes are vital social outposts that have historically provided subjective, social, local, and at times, irrational interaction, inspiration, and nourishment to artists, hipsters, musicians, activists, intellectuals, radicals, and others alike. Currently, independently owned cafés around the world are under aggressive attack; and their numbers have been sharply decreasing for many years. delocator.net is a means to preserve these local businesses.”
Apr 13 2005
“The large billboards dotting parts of Louisville are as striking for their color scheme—black and white—as they are for their message. “Keep Louisville Weird” the billboards scream. It’s part of a public-relations campaign in Louisville and cities from Boulder, Colo., to Raleigh, N.C., aimed at drawing customers to unique, locally owned stores. The campaigns and small-business alliances are using the effort to stay in competition with large retail chains such as Wal-Mart, Target and the recently merged Kmart-Sears.”
Feb 16 2005
“There is a strong parallel between this genetic diversity and retail diversity on our high streets. Where loss of genetic diversity threatens the survival of species and leaves ecosystems vulnerable to collapse, clone shops and towns imperil local livelihoods, communities and culture by eroding choice and decreasing the resilience of high streets to economic downturns.”
(Thanks, Mysterious Plutocrat)
Jan 19 2005
“Patronizing independent businesses enriches my life in ways large and small. Right around the corner is Caffe Tempo, a congenial coffee shop where last week my wife Julie and I ordered $11.06 worth of breakfast, tea, and greeting cards before realizing neither of us had brought a wallet. “Don’t worry,” said the clerk, “just bring it the next time.”
“That doesn’t happen at a Starbucks, Denny’s, or any other chain more beholden to distant stockholders than to its neighbors and customers. So if you don’t want to see your town totaled by Wal-Marts, Burger King, and the like, stand up for your local merchants. Visit their stores. Buy something. The future of your community and our country depends on it.”
(Thanks, Mary Gail)
Jan 12 2005
“So next time you are in the supermarket pondering the organic Gala or the local Granny Smith, consider how you might help create a food system that is both organic and local. Seek out a local farmers market or vegetable subscription service that provides a weekly bag of produce. Meet your local farmers this way. Encourage them to use organic methods and local sources of compost and other soil amendments. And seek out the small growers, who don’t have to exploit labor to gather their harvests.”