Size matters. Large national retailers get much more favorable deals with developers, landlords and municipalities than independent businesses. Established retailers have economies of scale, which they use to beat the little guys. Building niche networks at each stage of growth can give independent retailers collective political power that approaches that of large companies. Our Policy and Advocacy efforts and resources approach this problem.



Local Merchant is a trade association in structure, but we are stakeholders and community partners in mindset. Meet our founding membership team:

Erik Bruner-Yang

Desirée Venn Frederic

Lori Parkerson

Seda Nak

Virginia Arrenuso





We are currently recruiting the following positions:

Enumerators who canvass District neighborhoods to develop inventory by gathering data on every independent retailers in DC; ward by ward, block by block. Enumerators collect demographic, economic and business data on behalf of Local Merchant. They are responsible for canvassing neighborhoods, then documenting and reporting the information. Enumerators are volunteers who work in the neighborhoods they live in/near. An ideal role for local students studying public policy, urban planning or business. Send your cv and availability to