Major New Benefit Offered to Local Groups
have an abundance of great news to kick off the first newsletter of
2011! After an 18 month process, AMIBA has received IRS 501c6 Group
Exemption approval. This means AMIBA is authorized to grant 501c6
status (tax-exempt business league) to local affiliates within the U.S.
that are structured in accordance with our recommendations.
What does this mean for your group?
1. You save time and avoid hassles. AMIBA and the IRS agreed on the requirements for affiliates to be recognized as tax-exempt under 501c6, so applying via our 501c6 Group Exemption Program eliminates your guesswork, volleying materials with the IRS, and the long wait times. AMIBA must update our exempt group list annually and tell the IRS which affiliates will gain tax exemption under it, both new and continuing.
2. Your organization saves money. The current cost of applying to the IRS individually is $850 for most organizations ($400 for those planning to operate on budgets of less than $10,000 annually for four years). AMIBA charges a one-time fee of $75 per organization to cover a portion of our administration costs.
3. Your organization becomes tax-exempt retroactive to its incorporation. If your group paid any federal income tax in previous years, you may be eligible for a refund.
An initial group of 13 affiliates gained federal tax exemption with our IRS approval. Though final paperwork is due August 1 for groups wishing to be added this year, we urge you to contact us soon to allow ample time for any necessary changes to legal documents.
AMIBA retains our 501c3 charitable status and we will continue offering a fiscal sponsorship program for our affiliates wanting to pursue charitable grants and gifts. Please contact us to learn more about this process, AMIBA affiliation, or the pros and cons of organizing as a 501c3, 501c6 or cooperative.
Nationwide Survey Shows IBAs / Local First Campaigns Are Providing Huge Boost to Indie Businesses
For the fourth year in a row, a nationwide (US) survey of independent businesses by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has found those in communities with an active "buy local" campaign run by an Independent Business Alliance or Local First group experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such an initiative.
Responses from 2,768 independent businesses, including retailers, service providers, restaurants and others found those in places with a Buy Independent / Buy Local (BIBL) initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere.
Among independent retailers the benefit was even more dramatic: a 5.2% increase in holiday sales for those with BIBL campaigns serving their community, while retailers elsewhere reported an average gain of just 0.8%.
Business owners active in these community initiatives also reported a wide range of benefits, including greater customer loyalty and more awareness of the needs of independent businesses among city officials. Survey responses were generated largely by announcements from trade associations, AMIBA, BALLE, and ILSR. See the complete report for participating organizations, details, and many useful graphs (6 pp pdf).
Huge thanks to the New Rules Project at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for their invaluable research and the many organizations that helped make this possible! You can donate to ILSR here.
|New Study Ranks Metro Areas on the Vitality of Independent Retail
Commissioned by the American Booksellers Association, the Indie City Index offers insight into the cultural and economic climate in urban areas and a useful baseline for indie business advocates. The study measures regions, not individual cities, so conclusions are difficult, but it's worth noting that more than half of the top 36 performers were home to affiliates of AMIBA, BALLE or both.
Civic Economics has conducted economic impact studies for cities across the country, including AMIBA affiliates Stay Local! (New Orleans) and the Austin IBA. The firm's research has contributed strongly to the evidence demonstrating the benefits of independent businesses to local economic vitality.
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