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.
- 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 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.
- These are just a few examples from the first years of the network, see our free monthly newsletter for dozens of additional success stories.