(PORTLAND, Me.) A new study produced by the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) has found that, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the local economic impact of independently owned businesses in Portland is significantly greater than that of national chains. MECEP found that every $100 spent at locally owned businesses contributes an additional $58 to the local economy. By comparison, $100 spent at a representative national chain store in Portland yields just $33 in local economic impact.
Apps for making cities function smoother are proliferating. Now there is a place where you can find them all--from allowing citizens to adopt local fire hydrants to helping governments streamline their budget process.
The Urban Land Institute’s latest forward-looking report for the real estate industry has lots of hopeful news for the environment, if perhaps also some sobering news for the economy. Titled What’s Next?
I am back to the www after a week or so of family, visiting friends, feasting and total lack of normalcy in my family's life. Julia is back to school and The Farmer and I can get back to what feels like our normal.
For a hundred years we've been steadily extending the supply lines of our economy, becoming ever more globalized. But some have begun to question that trend, and even to form the foundations of a newer, more local economy. The main reasons are two-fold: our ever-growing globe-spanning economy is increasingly vulnerable to the ecological disruption it is causing, with global warming the prime example; and despite record affluence Americans report ever-growing feelings of disconnection and loss of community, trends that can only be reversed if we manage to rebuild local institutions that draw people together.
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