American Hero

American Hero

Stacy Mitchell

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Direct CoopsStacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.


Much of Stacy’s work has focused on two pivotal sectors of the economy: retail and banking. Among the first to raise the alarm about the rise of mega-retailers in the 1990s, Stacy is a nationally recognized leader in the movement to counter their power. Her book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, has appeared on several top-ten lists and was described by Bill McKibben as “the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country.”


Her research and writing on the advantages of devolving economic power have influenced policy-makers and helped guide grassroots strategies. She has produced pivotal analysis on the banking sector, monopoly power, Amazon, and independent business. She has written for a wide range of publications, including Business Week, The Nation, and Wall Street Journal, and produces a popular monthly newsletter, The Hometown Advantage Bulletin.


Stacy has led collaborative efforts to build stronger organizing and advocacy networks among local businesses. She serves as an advisor to many small business groups and coordinates the Advocates for Independent Business, a coalition of national small business organizations. She was also a founding board member of the Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance.


An engaging speaker, Stacy has been a featured presenter at many national conferences. In October 2012, she gave a provocative and widely discussed TEDx talk on “Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy.”


Stacy also serves on CCC’s Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All Advisory Council and on the board of the New Economy Coalition.


Stacy lives in Portland, Maine.