Strength In Numbers

Based on the Independent Business Alliance® model we successfully pioneered and incorporating the experiences of subsequent efforts in dozens more communities, this workshop introduces the benefits of building an alliance among community-based businesses, citizens and community organizations in your home town and offers an introduction to how IBAs work. Designed for independent business owners and IBA organizers.

Note: If you already are set on starting an IBA in your community, please contact us for details on a more hands-on workshop for which we recommend allowing three to five hours for maximum effectiveness (there is no added cost for a longer workshop).

The Independent Business Alliance: Strength in Numbers

1. The origin of the IBA and the ideas behind it–the benefits of a local, broad-based coalition of independent businesses, citizens and community organizations in addition to trade associations.

2. How an IBA works and funds itself — examples will be presented in each realm and handout materials provided as desired–see listing at bottom.

A. Facilitating cooperation: group purchasing, co-op advertising, joint promotions, branding.

B. Public education:

-The value independent businesses provide directly–looking beyond cheapness
-What they don’t teach in Econ 101: the multiplier effect and community economics
-Community character and development and the impact of local vs. chain businesses

C. Getting political–the potential for IBAs to change the tilt of the playing field at the local level, and the long-  term potential for systemic change. Specific examples discussed.

3. Elements necessary for an IBA to succeed: organizer(s), key businesses to involve, planning, database, funding, materials and more.

4. The pitfalls and obstacles IBAs have encountered and how they can be minimized in future efforts.

5. Future potential: community currency, pooled insurance and credit, local business investment fund.

6. The American Independent Business Alliance: what we offer to your local group to get started, how we help you mature, and what is planned for years ahead.

Optional add-ons

  • Media skills workshop: writing effective letters and editorials, talk radio, building media relationships, editorial board meetings. (30-90 minutes)
  • Review of resources for further information on both issues and skills. (15 minutes)

*Independent Business Alliance is a service mark of the American Independent Business Alliance. Affiliation benefits include license to use this name. We have helped assure the integrity of all IBAs with this protection.

Download this outline to print (pdf)


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