The Return of the "Local"
Mitchell reports that:
"Some 400 new independent bookstores have opened in the last four years. Neighborhood hardware stores are making a comeback in some cities. Driving is down in U.S. over the last two years, while data from a dozen metropolitan regions show that houses located within walking distance of local businesses have held value better than those isolated in the suburbs, where the nearest gallon of milk is a five-mile drive to a superstore.
In city after city, independent businesses are organizing and building an increasingly powerful counterweight to the big business lobby on issues as varied as tax policy and global warming. Local business alliances have now formed in over 130 cities and collectively count some 30,000 businesses as members. These alliances are calling on people to choose independent businesses and locally produced goods more often, making a compelling case that doing so is critical to rebuilding middle-class prosperity, averting environmental catastrophe, and ensuring that our daily lives are not smothered by corporate uniformity."
In response to these trends, Mitchell notes, international corporations are trying to "rebrand" themselves as "local" too.