American Independent Business Alliance

Strength in Numbers, August 2013

Strength in Numbers, August 2013

MHBAstickerWeb11Indie Business News & Reports from Affiliates

Pro-Indie Ad-itude
The Mile High Business Alliance recently launched a series of new posters and stickers circulated via member businesses, ranging from tame to edgy. “The stickers and posters are our way of helping spread the conversation for localism in the community,” said Director Mickki Langston. “Posters and limited sticker quantities are given to all member businesses and distributed through community events. We enjoy being a little sassy sometimes — it speaks to the independent nature of our businesses. Anne Richardson is the artist.


New Videos Deliver the “Buy Local” Message with Humor
We just added recent creations by Sustain-a Bull Durham (NC) and Las Vegas First IBA (NM) to our collection of pro-local video clips and how-to resources. Check them out and see if you’re inspired with any ideas to boost your local outreach!

Austin IBA Fights to Keep $50K City Contract
The Austin IBA’s successful promotion of neighborhood commercial districts attracted support from the City for several years, but that support was cut off recently when the IBA refused a City request to turn over their member email list as part of contract renewal, which would have violated their confidentiality policy. Rather than just accept this huge loss, the IBA took the issue to the public and media. And with stories like this, we suspect they may win the battle to restore program funding (vote tonight, 8/22).

Update — Austin City Council agreed to enter into a nine-month (the duration of the fiscal year), $50,000 contract with the Austin Independent Business Alliance to continue to promote locally owned businesses.

lynchburg-T-shirtExpanded Gallery of Pro-local T-shirts
Check out recent additions from Louisville IBA (KY), Thrive (OR) and Lynchburg RMA (VA) for ideas. Such items are great conversation starters and tools to make your message visible (net revenue, if it occurs, is a bonus).

Local Food and Drink Fest Thrives
Thrive (OR) recently held their first Blues, Burgers & Bluegrass fundraiser, highlighting local ranchers, brewers and musicians. Director Wendy Siporen reports, “We hoped maybe 250 people would come, have a great time & that we’d break even. A few days before the event, tickets were flying, so we increased food prep & ordered more beer from each brewery. We pre-sold 500 tickets.”

Nearly 1,500 more people came for on-site purchase! Thrive netted more than $15k and, despite running out of things, created a great buzz. AMIBA affiliates and business members: log in to Member Resources to see the many special event examples and planning tools and learn from the experiences of your peers.

Amazon-box-downtownNEWAMIBA’s Call for Rethinking Job Creation Gets Broad Circulation
When President Obama chose to visit and showcase an Amazon.com warehouse as a shining example of job creation (it’s actually a net job destroyer), we jumped into action and quickly landed this commentary by Co-director Jeff Milchen in BusinessWeek and other venues, explaining a better approach.

Also, Betsy Burton of Local First Utah (also an AMIBA Advisory Board member,) expressed related concerns in this Salt Lake Tribune op-ed.

All About Amazon
The impact of Amazon.com Inc. is huge and growing — not just on retailers, but almost every business sector today. AMIBA is building a thorough resource for understanding Amazon, starting with this selective library of top reporting conveniently indexed by topic area. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding collections of facts, quotes and more.

wyandotte-summer_of_independentsWelcome New Members & Affiliates

New Local Affiliate
Business Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Kansas City

Business Member:
Castle Toys & Games, Beaver, PA

Congratulations to the Wyandotte Independent Business Alliance (Michigan) and Local First of Durango, Colorado — the latest affiliates to gain 501c6 tax-exempt status through AMIBA’s Group Exemption Program. If you don’t yet have tax-exempt status for your business group, learn how you can save you time and money (a lot) through this program.

Last Call for October Community Events

AMIBA’s Jeff Milchen and Joe Grafton will be offering community presentations and workshops across much of the country this fall. We’re about to complete the schedule for October, with potential or scheduled stops in WI, IL, IN, NY, OH, PA, MD, VA, WV, KS, MO, NE, Ontario and New England. Dates are available for most other states and provinces Oct 30-Nov 14. Of course, conference presentations and other events are available at any time, but these tours offer the chance to enjoy the lowest possible costs.

Thanks to underwriting by American Express OPEN, events on these tours can be scheduled at a fraction of the normal cost. Contact us to inquire.

OaklandgiftcardAugust Conference Call:
It’s in the Cards

Our August 27 (Tuesday) conference call for AMIBA members and affiliates will explore the various technologies, costs, rewards and benefits, and functions of running a loyalty card program. Panelists will join us from Bernal Bucks, Supportland, Sonoma Go Local, and Oakland Grown. Please contact us if you are with an AMIBA affiliate and did not yet receive call details.

Speaker notes from July’s call on Member Recruitment now are posted, along with the call recording. Affiliates can log in here, then go directly to notes or see all recent call topics and resources.

In Brief

Don’t Get Fooled Again
Walmart Stores Inc., the leading force in offshoring manufacturing, is resurrecting its “Buy American” campaign, which was revealed as a scam 30 years ago. Don’t expect anything different this time, writes Stacy Mitchell.

New Resource from BALLE
The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and Center for A New American Dream recently published the Guide to Going Local, with useful tips on instigating cash mobs, pop-up retail, using video to build local pride, and more. It’s free to those who register for their newsletters.

Shift Your Shopping 2013
We’ll begin planning the 2013 Shift Your Shopping campaign next week and welcome all pro-indie business groups and trade associations to partner in this collaborative effort (partners will receive co-branding and steering committee position). Contact us to learn more or join the planning team!

Share these these ideas and stories with your network: Tweet it!

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