What is an Independent Business Alliance?
An Independent Business Alliance® works to build vital local economies based on independent, locally-owned businesses and help local entrepreneurs compete successfully against chains, online competitors and others. IBAs unite locally-owned independent businesses, citizens and community organizations to achieve this goal.
What Is a Local Independent Business?
AMIBA's suggested criteria for local organizations are:
1. Private, worker, community or cooperative ownership.
2. At least 50% locally-owned. Your definition of "local" should be a group decision (we gladly offer guidance).
3. Decision-making authority is vested in the local owners and not subject to conditions dictated remotely.
4. The business has a limited number of outlets and limited geographic range (TBD by your local Alliance).
Please contact AMIBA to determine your definitions and criteria for items #2 and #4. Our help with these decisions can save you valuable time! Note: adopting this criteria doesn't mean no other businesses can support your work (talk to us about how you might engage others).
IBAs accomplish their goals through four realms of work:
- Public education about the greater overall value local independents often can provide (even when they are not the cheapest) as well as the vital economic, social and cultural role independent businesses play in the community.
- Facilitating cooperative promotion, advertising, purchasing, sharing of skills and resources and other activities to help local businesses gain economies of scale and compete more effectively.
- Creating a strong and uncompromised voice to speak for local independents in the local government and media while engaging citizens in guiding the future of their community through democratic action.
- Enhancing opportunities for local investment and access to capital for local entrepreneurs.
Interested in exploring an IBA for your community?
We work with organizers, whether you're a business owner or a dedicated citizen, to get and keep you going.
Read more about starting a local business alliance.
Why joining our team of local networks should be one of your first investments.
The IBA model was pioneered by AMIBA's founders in 1998, and it has been used by communities of all sizes around the country (see About AMIBA for more).
Discover if there's a local business association affiliated with AMIBA near you or in your travel destination.
Independent Business Alliance is a registered mark of AMIBA and only affiliates may use the phrase in their organization's name. Please capitalize the first letter of each word when referring to Independent Business Alliances. If you wish to include other groups that are based on the IBA model in your writing, please use a generic phrase such as "local business coalition."