Take Action: AIB Releases Local Policy Action Toolkit

    The toolkit offers independent business owners and retailers tips for engaging with their city officials and advocating for policies that strengthen and grow local businesses.

    New Report Sheds Light on Amazon’s Contract to Supply Local Governments

    A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance indicates that some government agencies and public schools that purchase from Amazon may be paying more than they should.

    Start Planning for Banned Books Week 2018

    The Banned Books Week Coalition is offering new tools and resources to help booksellers prepare for this year’s celebration of the freedom to read, to be held September 23–29. 

    Facebook’s New Political Ad Policy Ends Up Censoring Bookstore’s Author Event Ads

    A Room of One’s Own Bookstore requested to boost Facebook posts to promote two author events only to find that they were rejected on the basis of what Facebook characterized as their “political nature.”

    New Law Frees Smaller Banks From Strict Federal Regulations

    The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law last month, rolls back some of the strict regulations on banks established by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

    A Deeper Look at the Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a South Dakota law qualifying remote retailers that have $100,000 or more in sales or 200-plus transactions in the state as having a physical presence.

    AGs Join with FTC, Better Business Bureau to Help Small Businesses Combat Fraud

    Attorneys General for 12 states have joined with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau in a partnership called “Operation Main Street.” 

    Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Sales Tax Fairness

    In a major victory for sales tax fairness, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of South Dakota in a case that will redefine the legal obligation of online retailers regarding sales tax collection, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock, and Newegg

    Trump Administration Releases Rules on Association Health Plans

    The U.S. Department of Labor has released the final rule that will expand access to association health plans (AHPs). AHPs would allow small businesses to band together through a trade association to purchase health insurance across state lines.

    Senate Passes Bill Allowing SBA to Guarantee More Small Business Loans

    Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill that will allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to raise its cap for 7(a) general business loans by 15 percent.

    New Study Demonstrates “Local Advantage” of Indie Hardware Retailers Over Amazon

    The recent study Home Sweet Home: Locals vs. Amazon demonstrates the significant economic benefit that supporting independent businesses has on local communities.

    Seattle Repeals “Head Tax” Following Amazon’s Opposition

    Seattle’s city council has voted 7-2 to repeal a measure aimed at collecting tax from the city’s largest businesses, including Amazon and Starbucks, in order to raise funds for housing services.

    Senate Votes to Restore Net Neutrality

    The Senate voted on May 16 to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution that would roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

    Amazon Balks at Seattle’s “Head Tax” to Help the Homeless

    The tax applies to companies that gross at least $20 million per year and will fund affordable housing and homeless services; since its proposal, Amazon — the city’s largest employer — has resisted the measure.

    ABFE Free Speech Report

    “Every day, attempts to hinder or to outright ban our right to free expression continue at an alarming pace in this country and around the globe. And in many ways, it is a death by a thousand paper cuts,” writes ABFE Director David Grogan.

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