- The Austin IBA’s (TX) landmark
economic impact study measuring how money spent at two independent
businesses (Waterloo Records
and Book People) and a pending Borders superstore impacted Austin found
that $100 spent at Borders generated $13 in local economic activity,
while $45 was generated by the local stores. The results have been
cited widely and sparked at least 5 studies elsewhere yielding nearly
identical results. (See studies on our recommended readings page)
The IBA used the study results to rally public opposition and prevent a planned $2.1 million public subsidy for the proposed Borders development. Without the subsidy, Borders never went in.
AIBA's IBIZ District program (Independent Business Investment Zone) identifies and helps market commercial pockets comprised mainly of independent businesses around Austin. AIBA received an award and recognition for this program in 2011 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). AIBA programs to identify and enhance unique business areas and to match developers and hometown businesses are embraced enthusiastically by City government. They've helped AIBA gain influence over policy decisions affecting Austin's independent businesses -- before they're made.
In 2012, AIBA presented the City and Austinites with its Local Business Manifesto, which outlines programs and policies they wish to see implemented toward reducing City obstacles for local business start-up and ongoing operation, improving the partnership between the City and independent business community, and shifting more City purchasing to Austin's independent businesses. City council members began exploring the possibilities immediately.
- In a poll just 7 months after their launch, the Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance (ME) learned more than 60% of their business members felt a positive impact of PICBA's public education efforts on their business.
- Think Local Umpqua, based in Roseburg, OR, has become a critical connecting point for this rural area's independent businesses, farmers, and citizens.
- The Flagstaff IBA's (AZ) founding director was hired by the City to be its first chief of business development and retention, helping institutionalize the culture of support for independent business. Increasingly, IBAs are gaining a say in local economic development and government policy.
- On the heels of the 2005 election cycle, the director of the Metro IBA in Minneapolis/St. Paul was asked to serve on the transition team of St. Paul mayor-elect Chris Coleman to help evaluate Economic Development, Planning, and Community Outreach.
- The Santa Fe Alliance's popular Farm-to-Restaurant program extended, with the help of a USDA grant, to include a food distribution network for Northern New Mexico. The system is helping increase the local market for area producers and bring more food produced by New Mexico's family farmers to the tables of regional homes and restaurants. The Alliance also developed a city-wide workforce development initiative linking local independent businesses to Santa Fe's youth.
- BUILD St. Louis is positioning itself as a uniting force in a deeply divided (racially, socially, economically, geographically) community. BUILD is forging relationships with community organizations to connect these diverse communities in a concerted effort focused on community-building and preserving independent business in St. Louis, neighborhood by neighborhood.
- The website and neighborhood maps created by Stay Local!, our New Orleans affiliate, provide a service beyond merely identifying locally-owned independent businesses -- in the continuing recovery following Hurricane Katrina, they help residents and visitors know which businesses are open. That service received strong recognition from the Office of Recovery Management when it committed federal matching funds to extend Stay Local's independent business locator map program to 17 more recovering neighborhoods.
- The Boulder IBA (CO) proposed a policy initiative package, the Community Vitality Act, to City Council intended to strengthen City support for locally-owned independent businesses. It included a local leasing preference for City-owned commercial properties, a local purchasing preference for City procurement, and a cap on the number of “formula” businesses operating in the city at a given time. None of the initiatives was implemented, but BIBA sparked community dialogue about locals v. chains that couldn’t have occurred otherwise and made BIBA’s name a household word.
Back to About IBAs