As we have documented in previous surveys, independent businesses have
proven nimble during a period of dramatic shifts in technology and
consumer habits. Much of their resilience can be traced to the distinct
benefits they provide to their customers, industries, and communities.
Yet, despite these competitive advantages and their broader importance
to the U.S. political economy, independent businesses are under threat
and declining in most industries. The findings of our
2019 Independent Business Survey
suggest that the problem isn’t changing technology or consumer habits.
Instead, independent business owners say they are often competing on a
unlevel playing field. Many public policy decisions in recent years have
fueled market concentration and favored their big competitors.