Local Government & Economic Development Wish List
- Local First Utah created this 2-page “manifesto” (pdf) to inform local government officials and the public of their dreams for inserting local independent business into economic development discussion and making their case for doing so. These ideals are well conceived and realistic, not over the top!
- The Austin IBA presented the City and people of Austin with their Local Business Manifesto (April 2012) via press conference. They received a great media response and the City responded almost immediately with a resolution to begin work on many of the provisions it outlined. Click to access the Manifesto, press conference comments, and the City’s resolution draft.
Local Business Conference
Building on their Local Business Manifesto, (above) Austin IBA hosted their First Annual Local Business Conference in October 2013. The conference engaged local business owners to take a collective leadership role in the future of Austin’s local business economy. The half-day event called on the wisdom, experience and ideas of more numerous local business owners who created a detailed plan for improving the climate for local business in Austin. The plan was organized by priority as determined by the conference participants. Also, a Leadership Circle of ten local business owners was selected to steer the process for the next year.
In October 2014, AIBA will host the Second Annual Local Business Conference to assess progress on the 2013 goals and set the goals for the following year.
- Local Business Conference Packet (pdf) – includes summary, agenda, application for volunteers to join AIBA’s Leadership Circle and a “thank you” message.
- Goals – a list of goals for the City of Austin, AMIBA and Local Businesses as determined by conference attendees
- 2014 Conference report — rich information on goal progress, developing relationships, and more
“This is THE best thing we’ve ever done for [member] engagement!”
— Rebecca Melancon, AIBA Executive Director
Economic Development Initiatives
Neighborhood-based Economic Development
The Louisville IBA hosted a conference call to discuss targeted economic development based on specific neighborhoods. The presenters shared their knowledge and offered insight based on the current program within their respective communities being supported by each IBA.
Rebecca Melancon (Austin IBA): organizing IBIZ Districts, including managing, criteria and development of independent businesses within time.
Duane Trythall (Keep It Querque, NM): projects helping immigrants in the International Zone become self-sustaining entrepreneurs, including a food truck initiative.
Nan Seymour (Local First Utah): explanation of a project focused on building a stronger economy in Wayne County by promoting locally owned startups and the expansion of local businesses through microlending and improved access to other financial resources.
Dana Eness (Stay Local, New Orleans, LA): supporting and growing specific neighborhoods by producing neighborhood-specific guides mapping the location of local businesses.
Political Platform & Determining Policy Issues
- See AMIBA’s resource on Determining Policy Issues to help your organization make wise choices
- See our Local Purchasing Policy page for additional resources and examples
- Metro IBA created their Public Policy Platform to Strengthen Minnesota’s Independent Businesses based on AMIBA’s national platform.
- The Raleigh IBA succeeded in getting the NC State Democratic Party to adopt a resolution and platform change to support independent businesses.
- View and download language from the Cambridge Local Economy Resolution, adopted by the City of Cambridge, MA. The Resolution engages local government in specific actions it can take to localize purchasing and other avenues to explore for potential implementation.
Seize Election Year Opportunity
One easy inroad to gaining the ear of city council and other local elected officials and developing relationships for the future is during campaign time when candidates want their views heard. See ideas about ways your IBA can seize opportunity in an election year as a teachable moment in public education and place an important constituency — the independent business community — on candidates’ radar screen.
- Portland Buy Local (ME) surveyed their City Council candidates to find out their opinions about locally-owned and independent businesses, and their vision for the future of these businesses in the city of Portland.
“We… highly recommend the exercise — it helps clarify candidate’s positions really well!”
— Kristin Smith, President, Portland Buy Local
Communication with Government
- Metro IBA sent a letter to the Governor seeking a repeal of the sales tax on repairs to businesses that went into effect on July 1, 2013 during a special session that might be called. The letter was also delivered to the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader and Commissioner of Revenue.
- Based on the wish list generated from their Local Business Conference (above), the Austin IBA sent this proposal to the City of Austin for a small business liaison to represent independent business owners.