The Andersonville Study is Now Available

On Wednesday, October 20, the Andersonville Study was released to the media and the community in two well-attended events at the Swedish-American Museum Center. In the first two days following the release, over 500 copies of the reports have been downloaded from this site.

Click the images below to read news coverage:


Andersonville Study Release Set

The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics is complete and scheduled for release on Wednesday, October 20,

Press Briefing: TBA

Community Event: 7:00 PM - Swedish-American Museum, 5211 North Clark Street

With its walk-able commercial district filled almost entirely with locally owned, independent businesses, Andersonville is often held up as a model for livable urban communities. But its very popularity threatens to bring change. What is it that has made Andersonville so successful? How do we keep it that way? This panel discussion will explore those questions. The evening will feature a presentation of the results from the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, a groundbreaking study exploring the economic impact of ten locally-owned Andersonville businesses vs. their chain counterparts. Speakers will include study authors Matt Cunningham and Dan Houston of Civic Economics and special guest Stacy Mitchell, author of the book "Home Town Advantage." Andersonville residents, business owners, and property owners, as well as representatives from other neighborhoods and development organizations are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Progress Report, September 10

After delays in the data collection process, Civic Economics has finished preparing the economic impact analysis for all businesses in the study.  Draft documents are in progress, but the release date has not been set.  Stay tuned for more information.

For a preview of the findings and policy implications, plan to attend the Chicago Green Drinks gathering on Tuesday, September 28, at Rhythym on Randolph. Ellen Shephard of the Andersonville Chamber, Matt Cunningham of Civic Economics, and a local business owner will discuss the Andersonville Study and other issues related to living local economies.


“Breaking the Chains” in the Chicago Reader

Chicago’s leading weekly newspaper, the Chicago Reader, featured the Andersonville Study in its June 4, 2004 issue.  The three page piece, written by Dan Weissman, provides extensive background about the study and highlights the work of the Andersonville Chamber.

Click the image at right to view the full story. You may also access the full text of the article for a small fee from the Reader archive.


Progress Report: May 25, 2004

Work on the Andersonville Study is proceeding apace:

  • Ten businesses have now been selected for participation in the study.  Civic Economics has completed interviews and data gathering for seven of those businesses, and work is proceeding to develop data for chain comparables.
  • Over 200 Detailed Consumer Surveys have been completed and returned to the Andersonville Develoment District. Additional Abbreviated Surveys are still being completed. Surveying will run through Memorial Day weekend.
  • Dan Houston of Civic Economics’ Austin office will be in Chicago during the week of May 31.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like to meet during that time.

Our thanks go out to those who have worked hard to collect a meaningful survey sample, and especially to the owners of participating businesses.


BookExpo America to highlight the Andersonville Study

Across the country, independent booksellers have taken leading roles in organizing their fellow independent businesses. Their trade group, the American Booksellers Association, has become similarly active in support of its membership.  Andersonville’s own Ann Christopherson chairs the ABA Board of Directors.

BookExpo America, the world’s largest gathering for the publishing industry, will be held in Chicago during the first week of June, and will feature three separate looks at the Andersonville Study. Civic Economics has been asked to brief the ABA Board on the state of objective research into retail economics around the nation. Later, we will join two panel discussions on the formation of independent business alliances.

Learn more about the ABA and about BookExpo America.


MoveOn Event Focuses on Community First

April 28, 2004

On Thursday, April 22, MoveOn, the grassroots civic action group, held a community forum at Women & Children First bookstore in Chicago as part of its unique spring book tour to promote MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country: How to Find Your Political Voice and Become a Catalyst for Change (Inner Ocean). More than 75 people attended the event, which was hosted by Women & Children co-owner Ann Christophersen, and MoveOn member and Newtopia magazine publisher Charles Shaw. Read on ...


50 Ways to Love Your Country: A Neighborhood Discussion about Sustainable Local Economies

April 22, 7:30pm
Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 North Clark

On the evening of April 22, Women & Children First will host an energizing, enlightening, empowering conversation about how to make change in the world - and how we can all work immediately for positive change in our own local community. Featured speakers include:

  • Ellen Shepard, Executive Director of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce and board member of both Sustainable Chicago and Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
  • Women and Children First co-owner Ann Christophersen, who's also president of the American Booksellers Association
  • Matt Cunningham Partner in Civic Economics

Learn more about Women & Children FirstMoveOn.org, sponsor of the event, will make available copies of the new book 50 Ways to Love Your Country.

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