The Small-Mart Revolution

How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition

The author makes an engaging case for why supporting small business makes good economic sense and is the only real long-term solution for the health of our communities and our nation.

285 pages. ©2007.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted May 30, 2019


Slow read..I had a difficult time finishing the book


Review posted February 21, 2019


This book convinced us that it is worth the effort to start a small business in a rural community. Our business is thriving and growing in Tillamook, OR where we are now very happy full time residents. We enjoy having this retirement project to get us involved in our community. Thank you for this book!


Review posted June 18, 2018


This book was easy to read and gave a plethora of insights and examples of how local first helps ALL businesses in the community. Shuman wrote the book to change how people considered their business community and purchases but leaves it up to the reader to decide what they would like to do with the information. It definitely helped shaped how I think about my purchases and my advocacy.


Review posted October 22, 2017


This is an inspirational and informative read that compels you to spend your shopping dollars on local businesses, instead of sponsoring the large big box stores conglomerates posing unfair competition to small businesses across the country. It offers cogent arguments to back up the book's premise.

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Review posted September 26, 2017


The Small-Mart Revolution is a great read for those who are interested in small or even cottage industries. The book gives insight to help those who don't want 'Big Corporation' but wants to thrive in the business world.


Review posted August 21, 2017


The author of this book talks about a community exporting three or four items and then importing the same from other countries. I have very limited economic knowledge. However, this does not make sense to me. This book is difficult not because of the writing style or the material, but because the solutions provided are nearly all long-term and require cooperation. I ended up skimming the majority of this book.


Review posted March 9, 2017


The author, Michael Shuman, provided an excellent perspective on why it economically and environmentally important to build the self-sufficiency of our local communities. He provided relevant historical examples of why a community should not invest in a large company that could leave the community and leave the community struggling. Most importantly, Shuman provided excellent and practical ways to grow local business, like a local currency and leakage analysis. On overall great book for people looking to build their downtowns and communities!!


Review posted October 11, 2016


If this book did nothing else it makes clear that small businesses can successfully thrive in a sea of big box stores. I'm going to urge our small community to follow the suggestion of author Shuman to perform a leakage analysis. All in all, a book for those working to improve their community to peruse.


Review posted July 21, 2016


A very well-organized book, the author sets out what can be done by various stakeholders in shifting to LOIS businesses. LOIS stands for Locally Owned and Import Substituted. At the end of each chapter is a checklist of action items. One main emphasis is leak prevention; in other words, where are the places and operations in a given community that are not local but could be. For example, a local hospital purchases linens, gowns, etc. from outside the community instead of within it. Lots and lots of good ideas and examples. A pleasant, easy read.


Review posted May 23, 2016


There are excellent stories throughout this book that illustrate the importance of small, locally owned businesses that are a part of the community fabric.


Review posted May 18, 2016


Very interesting read.

david grant

Review posted September 20, 2015


I think that it is an excellent book. It is an easy read . It is extremely well balanced and provides a plethora of references to back up his statements. And in addition, examples of real businesses that he has found. He has made it interesting to read--it is not a dry factual book by any means. He paints a balanced picture in that while he is favor of small businesses and investing locally---- he points out the various possibilities for the further growth of small businesses and the problems confronting that growth. He goes into depth about the ordinances, laws and regulations that are stumbling blocks for progress. He makes a strong argument to purchase locally and invest locally. While there are checklists throughout the book this is not a "handbook for action" but presents the underlying arguments for radical change in the laws, buying habits of citizens, small business start-ups, small business regional stock markets and providing the financing for the small business(not a start-up). Oregon I am proud to say has taken the first steps in this direction by allowing ordinary citizens to participate in the investment of start-ups. But it remains to be seen if this trend actually will result in real change or fizzle out.


Review posted May 15, 2015


I believed in the concept of "buy local" but didn't think it practical. Now I understand better the great value of it and how important it is to make it a priority to shore up our sinking economy. I recommend this book.


Review posted April 7, 2015


A great resource for those wanting to build self-reliant communities