AMIBA works nationally to raise awareness of the economic, civic, environmental and cultural importance of community-based enterprise and the destructive impacts of centralizing wealth and power. To this end, we currently are gathering input from a wide range of NGOs, including ideological allies and independent trade associations, to craft a collaborative Platform for America’s Independent Businesses. We will gather endorsements and promote it nationally in 2020 to inform both public discussion and elections at all levels. (Contact us to engage.)
Below are a few of the issues we’ve impacted nationally and some of our current initiatives.
- We submitted amicus briefs in both Citizens United v FEC (pdf) and Western Tradition Partnership v Montana (pdf), arguing against enlarging corporate power over elections. We used the opportunity to educate people nationwide via radio and TV, in major newspapers and through our online communications. In Citizens United, the four dissenting U.S. Supreme Court Justices quoted our brief, drafted by Daniel Greenwood and our allies at Demos, in their opinion.
- We engaged in Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado at the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing in public and via an amicus brief that allowing businesses to discriminate threatens civil rights progress. Our engagement in this case is part of our broader Business Against Bigotry initiative, summarized below.
- AMIBA has informed our followers that mandatory arbitration is an enemy of small businesses as well as consumers through newsletter briefs and commentaries. Far from being “pro-business,” forced arbitration is a tool that often enables corporate giants to rip off small suppliers, contractors and business customers.
- Countering the corporate narrative that weak environmental and public land protections are “pro-business” in media commentary and PSAs. We’ve also defended and promoted Montana’s landmark right to a clean and healthful environment (our home base).
- AMIBA played a key role in thwarting Walmart’s attempt to enter commercial banking. We published commentaries, engaged independent trade groups, and offered in-person testimony to the FDIC. Approval of Walmart’s bid would have driven out countless community financial institutions, creating a more dangerous concentration of power.
While AMIBA has built our reputation through helping local Alliances work effectively, we are escalating our work nationally to build a stronger voice for communities, reverse increasing corporate dependence and accompanying inequality, and broaden entrepreneurial opportunity.
The Center for Community Ownership
A resource and advisory hub to empower people particularly (in both rural and urban areas) to fill urgent local needs through developing community-owned businesses. These low-investment, democratically-governed businesses also create jobs and build opportunity for additional businesses while plugging major leaks in local economies. We’re currently accepting applicants for pilot communities for this new program. AMIBA.net/cco
Business Against Bigotry
We know more cohesive and inclusive communities are critical to broadening economic opportunities and helping new businesses start and grow. This program prods and assists business owners to build a culture of inclusion and equity in their own business and then go further to take a public role in building a more inclusive and welcoming community. AMIBA.net/bab
Indigenous Business Alliances
We recently began work with Indigenous Business Alliances in Montana and Minnesota to adapt some of the lessons and materials developed in non-native communities to advance their work at accelerating Native entrepreneurship. Adapting our “buy local” campaign expertise to Indian Country has been an early focus, and the Minnesota group currently is crafting an “indigenized” version of our campaign guide.
Join with AMIBA or donate to advance our work as we build a powerful presence uniquely positioned to challenge corrosive institutions precluding democracy and equity, and start shifting national law and policy.