Local business depends on free enterprise to thrive. But when free enterprise is choked by monopolies exerting control over the marketplace, local businesses suffer. Monopolies centralize power over products and resources by dominating the marketplace so that local businesses can’t survive much less thrive.

Local business thrives on innovation and responsiveness to customers. The onslaught of the pandemic, while devastating, has unleashed a wave of innovation by necessity. Local business is finding ways to survive in these difficult times by reinventing themselves in less than 30 days. Bravo! Take a bow local business. Pat yourself on the back.

Local business did this by helping one another, answering the needs of their communities and finding ways to make it work. Still, we have lost thousands of local businesses who didn’t have the resources to survive such a long, punishing ordeal. At the same time, monopolies grew by doing what the do best—monopolizing.

Amazon is now the new WalMart. We just thought WalMart was predatory, Amazon went from a shipping company to a supplier to a manufacturer—not by producing but by controlling what is produced. By controlling what is produced, they control the range and price point of products available to you. and they aren’t the only ones.

What can you do? First become aware through education on monopolies. Learn what to look for. Once you know what to look for, you may see it in numerous places. We’ll help you with this. Second, take the action of telling us what you’ve seen. That’s all. AMIBA will take it from there. we have a team of experts who will investigate and evaluate the situation and take action from there.

This is why AMIBA is involved in Anti-Monopoly work—to ensure a more level playing field for small local.

Rebecca Melançon, Director of Policy & Research at the Local Business Institute

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