This week in Building Local Power, we're discussing independent businesses and the communities that support them. Host Christopher Mitchell and ILSR co-director and Community-Scaled Economies initiative director Stacy Mitchell interview Katrina Scotto di Carlo from Portland, Oregon. di Carlo is the co-founder of Supportland (now called Placemaker), which works to bolster independent businesses by offering new marketing and technological solutions.

di Carlo started Supportland and Placemaker as tech companies aimed at bolstering the power of independent businesses not only in Portland but now in British Columbia (Canada), Florida, and Massachusetts. Placemaker knits the independent businesses of these communities together, in order for them to better retain and gain customers in the face of big-box retail and online platforms such as Amazon.

"[Independent businesses] keep more money local. There's more local character because we have all these funky businesses [that] also increase the amount of choice that you have when you go to purchase something," says di Carlo. "[These] ancillary studies are interesting, like the overall health of everyone in the community is better."

Listen here:

For full transcript of this episode of the Building Local Power podcast, click here.

About ILSR: We work to create sustainable, home-grown economies across the U.S. New episodes of the Building Local Power podcast are published bi-weekly on Thursdays. Sign up for new podcast notifications and monthly email updates from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Audio Credit: Funk Interlude by Dysfunction_AL Ft: Fourstones – Scomber (Bonus Track). Copyright, 2016.

All images courtesy of Placemaker. 

Institute for Local Self-Reliance


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The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers