NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 24, 2015
But your hometown businesses have real stories to tell
BOZEMAN, MT — As reporters nationwide prepare for a vain attempt to make annual “Black Friday” formula stories less painful than being crushed in a “doorbuster” shopping horde, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) has some ideas for you. While many big box chains shut out photographers and limit access for reporters to corporate spokespeople, your local independent business owners have local knowledge and insights they’ll be happy to share.
They may well be engaged in one of the increasingly popular antidotes to the big-box-centered “Black Friday,” including Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday and the season-long Shift Your Shopping initiative. Indie businesses in New England are even building an event to counter Amazon’s hype: Cider Monday.
More people are thinking about the impacts of their purchasing decisions on their community and acting accordingly, says AMIBA’s co-director, Jeff Milchen. “It’s not just altruism at work. People are recognizing value means more than mere cheapness and learning that local merchants frequently beat both chains and online businesses in delivering true value.”
AMIBA points to a growing body of evidence to support its position, such as independent pharmacies, appliance dealers, community banks and others generating results superior to their chain competitors in comparisons by neutral third-parties.
And in communities with local groups dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of buying locally, habits are shifting. A survey (pdf) of more than 3000 independent business owners published earlier this year by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, showed a powerful correlation between sustained “buy independent/buy local” campaigns and the success of local businesses. Independent businesses in communities with grassroots business alliances consistently promoting the benefits of buying locally reported an average revenue increase of 9.3%, compared to 4.9% growth among independents in communities without such alliances (see graph here).
AMIBA also suggests some questions for shoppers to consider in their holiday shopping decisions:
How much more money stays within your community when you patronize a local independent business instead of a chain or online? (answer: about three times more, on average).
“As people are doing their holiday shopping, we hope they’ll look critically at the advertising onslaught,” said Milchen. “When we consider the value of quality products, saving time, and the quality of our experience, we’ll often find our hometown businesses ultimately provide the best deal.”
High resolution versions of any graphics on linked pages are available upon request.
The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) is a non-profit educational organization helping communities become more self-supporting and resilient through fostering a culture that values and supports independent business and local entrepreneurs. They offer an array of tools to help shift holiday shopping to local independent businesses.
— 30 —