Strength In Numbers, April 2018

Strength In Numbers, April 2018

Stunning New Report Shows Indie Pharmacies Charge Dramatically Less than All Chain Competitors

The Consumers Union just released the results of a prescription drug price investigation that shows independent pharmacies soundly beating the chains when it comes to providing customer value. Our article adds background on key reasons why, despite their superiority, community pharmacists are being undermined by corporate oligopolies and action by many states to correct it.

We also have created an op-ed template for local groups to customize with local examples and quotes to help get this information out in your area and enhance your role as a champion. While the article focuses on drug stores, it helps build awareness that independents overall often provide superior value. Contact us to inquire.

Plan Now for Independents Week!

It’s like a week-long Small Business Saturday, but a whole lot warmer! The 15th annual Independents Week celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and freedom our local businesses embody and provides a platform to give your group or business a fresh seasonal hook to engage the media, local government, and public alike. Dozens of groups have used the campaign to elevate their profile, as a debut initiative, and to help bring needed attention to their local independents.

AMIBA makes it easy for you to seize the opportunity with a huge library of local activity examples with “how-to” tips and free templates for posters, web graphics, street banners and more. Start here!

Expanding the Small Business Voice for Inclusion and Creating Welcoming Communities

We’re excited to share three new graphics as part of our Business Against Bigotry initiative.

Along with the visuals are four new radio public service announcements that you can get aired on your local stations (usually for free — contact us for guidance).

National Hardware Coop Sells Majority Stake

True Value began in 1948 as a 13-store cooperative and grew to more than 4,000 stores. But earlier this month, the store owners voted overwhelmingly to sell a controlling interest (70%) of the company to Acon Investments, a private corporation. Stores remain in the hands of the individual owners, who collectively will receive a $196 million payout for their ownership stake. While the local store owners retain voting power, they now are a minority voice and most profits will go to Acon. Most other independent hardware stores in the U.S. are part of the Do It Best or Ace cooperatives.

AMIBA affiliates, see Member Resources for more details on such cooperatives as well as member recruitment “grey areas.”

Fake Products, Fake Reviews, Real Corporate Welfare

Public and media scrutiny finally is catching up to’s growth in power and anti-competitive practices. Among many notable new features collected in our “All About Amazon” library are reports on the flood of fake product reviews, counterfeit products, the $800 million gift to Amazon from U.S. taxpayers, and an insightful new report from Civic Economics.

News from Local Affiliates

The Local First Alliance, serving many southern New Hampshire and Vermont communities straddling the Connecticut River, got a great profile of their work to support local entrepreneurs.

The Oakland Indie Alliance gained a $60,000 commitment from the Jobs and Housing Coalition of Oakland to support their work. “Local businesses benefit developers, especially in Oakland where all new developments are required to have ground-floor retail. They need us to fill their spaces, and we need affordable rent,” said OIA board member Jana Pastena.  The group is using AMIBA’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program to enable them to accept the funding.

Mena’s Downtown Partners (Arkansas) announced strategic organizational changes and gained valuable visibility.

Congratulations to the Oakland Indie Alliance and the West Berkeley Design Loop, the latest AMIBA affiliates to gain federal 501c6 tax-exempt status through the Group Exemption Program, which saves organizations $800 or more compared to applying directly to the IRS (and risking delays or refusal).

Celebrate This Saturday with Your Local Booksellers!
Special titles and author appearances abound for the annual Independent Bookstore Day celebration. See what’s happening nearest you. See our interview with our own local independent bookseller Ariana Paliobagis for an example of why these businesses matter (and for local groups, consider similar profiles of your members).

Meet AMIBA’s New Engagement Coordinator

We’re excited to welcome Janna Williams to the AMIBA team! Janna will be helping local affiliates by providing templates for op-eds and news releases, among other assistance, as well as advancing our work to get pro-independent stories into the media nationally.

In Brief

No, Corporatization Does Not Benefit Workers
The fates of independent business and workers are closely aligned, says the ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell in a well-researched rebuttal to an argument that workers may benefit from corporate consolidation.

Online Sales Tax Case Hits Supreme Court
Find out what’s at stake in the South Dakota v Wayfair case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this month. And while many reports say is now collecting sales tax, that’s a half-truth at best.

Is Your City Food-Truck-Friendly?
The gap between low-cost and high-cost cities in this new report is vast (and largely unrelated to the cost of living).

New Operations System for Local Business Groups is Ready to Launch! 

We’re excited to announce the database and operations system (with optional website template) is ready to go. We’ve invested heavily in developing an integrated system to save local organizations time and money spent managing separate CRM functions (database, invoicing/payment, email marketing, form builder, website member directory), and other core operations. It also will help you embrace critical technology (like marketing via SMS) and share that knowledge with members. We also offer a new website template — and either component can be used as a stand-alone. Learn more!

Welcome to Our Newest Business Members

Buis Holdings Ltd.
Kaufman Law, P.C.

See why your business should consider joining AMIBA, too!

Don’t Wait a Whole Month!

As is often the case, we had too much interesting news to fit in this monthly bulletin. See our Twitter page and follow us to see more of the most relevant indie business news as it appears.

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