Home » September 2011 newsletter

Indie Business News & Resources

 

Surviving Roadblocks
Thousands of independent businesses reside in plazas with chain supermarkets, but may not have considered what to do in the event of a strike against the anchor, which appeared imminent in So. California earlier this month. Also, extended road or infrastructure work has crippled countless businesses. Business writer Mark Deo offers tips to help survive either scenario.

 

Houston passes local purchasing preference. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere!

The National League of Cities now offers a free primer, "The Role of Local Elected Officials in Economic Development: 10 Things You Should Know," but you don't need to be elected to learn useful ideas from it.

Quote of the Month
From Sue Bullerwell of All My Life Jewelers and the Belknap Independent Business Alliance (Central NH): "A customer was looking for an item we don't normally carry, so I told her I'd look around for her. I called her this morning to ask if she was still interested. She told me she'd found it for less on eBay. Rather than purchasing it, however, the woman chose to buy from us, saying she wanted to stay local." A perfect example of how IBAs build a culture of support for local entrepreneurs!

Organizational Tip of the Month
While it may seem obvious, we see many local business groups neglect to promote their membership growth actively. We suggest issuing a press release every month announcing your newest members and a sentence or two about what makes them special, as well as promoting your growth in your own newsletter and social media outlets. This not only will keep your organization in mind for prospects, but gain appreciation from your new members.

 

Sustain-a-Bull (Durham, NC) initiated a series of monthly fundraisers in which they promote a member business who agrees to donate 10% of their proceeds to Sustain-a-Bull during the designated day/period. They also are spreading the pro-local message far and wide with their popular t-shirts.

The Folly of Big Box Subsidies
Business Week recently featured this commentary by Stacy Mitchell.

Book Review: "Cause Marketing for Dummies"
AMIBA recently reviewed this new release on this growing realm of fundraising activity.

 

Welcome to New AMIBA Affiliates

  • San Juan Local First
    Welcome to newly-formed San Juan Local First (Four Corners region of New Mexico). With just over 2 million residents, New Mexico now hosts 4 Independent Business Alliances! San Juan Local First is the first IBA with a majority of land in their region under tribal ownership.

  • The Wyoming County Economic Development Authority -- the first IBA in West Virginia -- serves several communities in this rural county. They're kicking off with a workshop led by Lily Brislen, the first director of Oregon AMIBA affiliate Think Local Umpqua.

Thanks to Lily and to Franzi Charen of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, who just presented at the International Downtown Association conference, for investing their time to represent AMIBA and help spread the movement!

 

New Member Resources

These web pages are accessible only to affiliates (if you are a board member or volunteer with an affiliate, contact your leader for login). Please log in before clicking links below.

Putting on a Local Business Awards Event
Our September conference call is posted in mp3 format, along with supporting resources from the presenters (more to come).

"Home for the Holidays" Customer Incentive Campaign
This campaign, implemented by Capital Area IBA in Springfield, IL, provided added incentive for people to patronize local indies during the year-end holidays. See press releases, ads and campaign overview here.

 

Join Us Oct. 6 for a Webinar Introducing the New Collaborative Holiday Campaign Alliance

As we mentioned last month, AMIBA, BALLE and several regional partners have been working to amplify the "buy independent and local for the holidays" message. Join us for a free webinar at 10 AM PT / 1PM ET on Oct. 6 to get an overview of available tools, share best practices for successful campaigns and offer your ideas to build a huge holiday presence! Register by emailing Joe Grafton of Somerville Local First (thanks to Joe for his key role in this effort!).

Please contact us if you would like to participate in the group as we explore new holiday slogans, images and campaign ideas! Meanwhile, explore some of the free public resources AMIBA provides for the annual "Unchained" campaign here. AMIBA affiliates can access an additional library of templates in Member Resources.

 

More October Events Added in Vermont, Kentucky, Indiana, Montana. Join Us...or Host Your Own Event

Brattleboro, VT; Portsmouth, NH; Bozeman, MT; Louisville, KY are all recent additions to the AMIBA events calendar. Learn more about events to help boost your local outreach and engage new supporters here or contact us with scheduling inquiries.

 

 

Louisville's great attractions include the Muhammad Ali Center

AMIBA's 2012 Conference is Coming, March 29 - April 1. Tell Us What You Want!

Go Local, Grow Local: Building Community Prosperity from Within.
Be sure to mark your calendar -- and be there!

We'll be announcing the preliminary schedule, cost, and opening registration in our October newsletter. If you have opinions on workshops, speakers or discussions you'd like to engage in or present (we welcome proposals) this is the time to send us your thoughts.