Did you know that half of all U.S. households are members of Amazon Prime? Did you know that four companies control nearly 85 percent of the U.S. beef market? More importantly, do you know how those statistics impact you and your local community?
If you subscribe to Building Local Power, a new podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), then you know that those staggering statistics can spell doom for local economies and their small businesses. In weekly episodes, Building Local Power transforms complex issues – like the monopolization of utilities, for instance – and makes them easy to understand. Each episode is an informative economics lesson with a twist of local advocacy.
Take the Oct. 6 episode about recycling, for example. As ILSR experts explain, recycling isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also good for local economies.
“Since 1995, the cost of recycling has been lower than the cost of garbage disposal, whether it’s landfill or incineration,” said Neil Seldman, ILSR co-founder.
However, Seldman continues to explain that national waste management companies tend to make more money off of landfill disposal than recycling, and they lobby powerfully to keep their landfilling intact.
Fortunately, there’s an upside. Citizens across the country have organized to lobby their local governments for an end to particularly negative waste management programs. With ILSR’s help and resources, they’ve been able to make a difference for their communities.
Whether it’s recycling or the recent presidential election, ILSR is a powerhouse of information, resources and advocacy for local communities. Each year, the institute publishes an Independent Business Survey that gauges the wellness of U.S. small businesses. By interviewing thousands of business owners, the report demonstrates the power of the buy-local movement and identifies the challenges that still need to be addressed.
More recently, the institute published a report on the threat that Amazon poses to small businesses and local economies. Per the report, “Within five years, one-fifth of the U.S.’s $3.6 trillion retail market will have shifted online, and Amazon is on track to capture two-thirds of that share.” To reinforce the Amazon research, there’s an entire episode of Building Local Power dedicated to the topic.
Building Local Power captures the best of what ILSR does: The podcast shares compelling research in a way that’s both easy to understand and relevant, giving listeners the information and resources they need to become advocates for their own community. Subscribe to Building Local Power on iTunes, Stitcher or RSS/XML.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering for a business membership. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local to join the movement.