This month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case on sales tax collection that could — long after online commerce has transformed the retail sector in the United States — finally give states the authority to require online retailers to collect sales tax. For both local governments and local retailers, it’s a case that’s long overdue. Members of Advocates for Independent Business (AIB) have joined a brief that urges the Court to correct the law on sales tax.
As the General Services Administration, which oversees the federal government’s annual $50 billion in spending on commercial goods, develops a plan for moving that procurement onto an “e-commerce portal,” Advocates for Independent Business has submitted comments urging GSA to design a program that considers the crucial role of independent, small and medium-sized businesses play in the economy.
The retail industry is experiencing significant upheaval. Reporting on the issue, however, has focused almost exclusively on national chains. Now, a new national survey finds that shifts in the retail sector are playing out differently for independent businesses than they are for the chains. The survey, which gathered data from over 850 independent retailers across the U.S., yields valuable insight into how independents are weathering the storm — and what they perceive as their distinct advantages.
In today’s highly concentrated markets, the ability of dominant companies to exclude and impede businesses from competing has become one of the most pressing issues facing independent businesses. On the heels of a recent speech about the need for more vigorous antitrust enforcement by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Advocates for Independent Business (AIB) has sent Sen. Klobuchar a letter commending her call for action and sharing information about the experiences of AIB’s member businesses.
In AIB’s next roundtable call, the AIB groups will discuss their strategies to attract and retain members, sharing resources and ideas about their most effective approaches, their ongoing challenges, and their tools for keeping members engaged. The call will be the eighth roundtable that AIB has hosted.
The members of the Advocates for Independent Business hosted the first-ever AIB Summit in Washington, D.C., in December, a day-long event that gave attendees the occasion to share ideas, set priorities, and discuss ways to work together on the challenges and opportunities ahead for independent businesses.