About

Small-Mart is an initiative of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). The Small-Mart Revolution aims to improve the prosperity of every community, in the U.S. and abroad, by maximizing local self-reliance and opportunities for locally owned businesses.

Small-Mart.org is a web resource for people interested in news, stories, people, innovations, and analysis concerning local business, social enterprise, self-reliant communities, and related policies. It grows out of the writings of Michael Shuman--The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition and Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age.

Among the themes explored here:

  • The key to community prosperity is a vigorous network of locally owned businesses serving primarily local markets—the exact opposite of what most economic developers push.
  • Despite all the popular discussion of globalization, worldwide trends (like rising oil prices) are making small, local businesses increasingly competitive.
  • Jaw-dropping innovations in small business, whether for-profit or nonprofit, can be found everywhere, and provide compelling blueprints for localization.
  • The principal obstacles standing in the way of localization are public policies (like business-attraction “incentives”) that are uniformly tilted against small business.
  • Localization can and should appeal to right and left alike, by combining conservatives’ passion for free markets, small business, and small government with progressives’ passion for community empowerment, sustainability, and real democracy.

In our blog, e-zine, news briefs, and reports, you’ll find hot facts and cutting-edge analysis. But you’ll also find much more:

  • Events about localization around the country,
  • Action ideas,
  • Services we offer, including speaking, advocacy, and analysis, and
  • Projects we are developing.

We partner closely with the Food Routes Network, the Henry Wallace Center of Winrock International, and many other organizations. We are funded through grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and through the generous support of users like you.