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What Other Cities Are Doing

Here's what some other cities and towns around the country are doing to encourage local businesses' survival in an increasingly corporate climate. A list of national organizations appears in the left sidebar of this site.

Local Groups
A list of associated local organizations can be found via the national group, Business Alliance for Local, Living Economies (BALLE).

Big-Box, Chain and Formula Business Restrictions

The term "formula business" is used in many of these discussions. A formula business is one that is required by contractual or other arrangement to maintain a standardized array of services or merchandise, and standardized architecture, uniforms, logos, decor, etc.

San Francisco's Formula Business Ordinance adds formula businesses to the list of uses that require neighborhood notification under city law. Residents will be notified whenever a formula retail business applies to open in their neighborhood. They will then have the option of requesting a public hearing and subjecting the applicant to a list of criteria. In addition, formula retailers are banned entirely from the four-block Hayes Valley business district and are automatically required to undergo a hearing and review in the Cole Valley neighborhood.

Cities that have passed ordinances to limit, restrict or discourage big-box, chain or formula retail and restaurants include the following:
  • In California: Arcata, Calistoga, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Coronado, Pacific Grove, San Juan Bautista, Sausalito, Solvang and San Francisco (see above)
  • In Washington: Bainbridge Island, and Port Townsend
  • Bristol, Rhode Island
  • Port Jefferson, New York
  • Sanibel, Florida
  • York, Maine
See this article from the New Rules Project for details on the above list of towns with official formula business restrictions.

These cities and towns are just some of the places where debates, struggles and campaigns are underway to prevent the displacement of local businesses. People around the country, and around the world, are concerned about the survival of small scale, sustainable and community supporting businesses.