American Independent Business Alliance

“Go Local” Resources for Independent Business Advocates

Primer-front-coverThis library supplements our popular primer “Building Buy Local Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending” (free upon request), and serves as an introduction to many studies, publications and organizations of interest to independent business and localization advocates. The headers correspond to the guide’s sections and phrases in quotes correspond to passages (the pdf version of the primer is hyperlinked).

As of November, 2014, the primer is available in Spanish in both a printed magazine format and pdf. See the index of initial resources in Spanish here.

In response to reader requests, we created “Come in We’re Local” window decals and free web stickers like that on the primer cover. Note: the phrase “Come in We’re Local” is a registered trademark and may not be used without written permission.


I. The Benefits of Effective “Buy Local” Campaigns

p. 2  “Institute for Local Self Reliance” (ILSR)

p. 2  Graph showing three years of ILSR survey results is available here.


WhyBuyLocal-Back-CCNMem-RotateII. Keys to Shifting Culture and Spending

p. 3    Sidebar: “What is a local independent business?

p. 3   The National Main Street Center and are two fine resources on business district revitalization and community planning.

p. 4  “Civic Economics

p. 6  “national study from Louisiana State and Baylor Universities” See summary.

p. 6  Local business ownership and “rates of civic engagement.” Among studies in this realm are these from 2006, 2005 and 1946Big Box Swindle by Stacy Mitchell summarizes these studies and provides extensive annotation.

p. 6  “higher property values” (pdf from 2011 Civic Economics study commissioned by American Express Company)


III. Delivering Your Message for Maximum Impact

p. 7  “Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

p. 7  “Storyteller Uprising by Hanson Hosein. Resources for using video to advance your message include our own video resource page and the Independent We Stand video collection.

p. 7  “Independent America” & “Rising from Ruins,” documentaries produced by Hanson Hosein, are available for free download (see links here). Contact AMIBA for ideas on using these to advance your work via public screenings.

p. 7  “thorough explanation” of the local business multiplier effect

p. 7  “extensive collection” of economic impact studies (ILSR).  See also our pages on Independent Business, Chain and “Big Box” Retail Studies and Local Multiplier Effect.

p. 7  “Leveraging Anchor Institutions for Local Job Creation and Wealth Building” (from Community Wealth). Locavesting by Amy Cortese and Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman are related books of interest.

p. 8 “Thank You for Choosing Our Independent Local Business” decals (in both English and Spanish versions)


CIWL-rotatingIV. Beyond “Buy Local”: Building Strength in Numbers

p. 9  “Small Business Saturday

p. 9  “Shift Your Shopping” campaign

p. 9  “Independents Week

p. 9  “online library” (of pro-local model policies and case studies from ILSR)

p. 9  The Association for Enterprise OpportunityLocavestingBe a Localist and Advocates for Independent Business to learn about funding models, programs and policies that improve access to capital for active and aspiring entrepreneurs.


V. Organizational Structure and Partnerships

p. 10  “501c6 group exemption program” (a benefit available to AMIBA-affiliated organizations)


VI. Getting Started

p. 11  “participatory workshop” (presentations and trainings offered by AMIBA)

p. 11 The Benefits of Doing Business Locally, a frequently-requested article for re-publication.

p. 11 Logo examples are from local affiliates of AMIBA

Back cover: See all 4 “Why Buy Local?” poster designs (redesigned since  first print publication).

Back cover: The author, Jeff Milchen, is the co-founder of AMIBA and among our most popular speakers and training facilitators. (Learn more about the presentations and workshops.)

Please contact us to inquire to obtain high-resolution files or permissions for graphics within the primer. The primer contents are copyrighted by AMIBA and written consent is required to republish any portion (quoting up to 100 words is fine if attribution and link/url are provided). Inquire for bulk quantities.

Other Resources for Advocates of Independent Business
There are far too many great resources and organizations to list here, including hundreds of trade groups serving specific independent business types (groups having hosted AMIBA speakers are listed here). Please contact us for recommendations in your realm of interest.

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Thanks to American Express OPEN, whose sponsorship enabled production of the primer.

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