American Independent Business Alliance

Strength in Numbers, August 2016

Strength in Numbers, August 2016

Good News!

Women — Especially Women of Color — Fueling Small Business Start-ups

opengraphA recent report from American Express OPEN and Womenable reveals encouraging trends for entrepreneurship and small business. Women-owned firms increased by 45% over the past decade (well above the ~8% population growth over the period), with minority-owned firms leading the way.

Latinas created the greatest number of new enterprises, while firms started by Asian women led in revenue growth and job creation. See the executive summary or view the full report (12 pp pdf).

In related news, the Kauffman Foundation also found diversity increasing among new entrepreneurs. Locavesting summarized the findings in this story.

Antitrust and Competition Law Revival?
A new report from the Institute for Local Self RelianceMonopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business details the damage oligopolies inflict upon entrepreneurship and why it also harms consumers. And a recent speech by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren helped raise awareness of the damage consolidation is doing to the U.S. economy.and the urgent need for action.

Meanwhile… other news illustrates why we need to build the political pressure to enforce laws that have no meaning without enforcement…

“Too Big to Fail” status allowed corporate felons at HSBC to go untouched

And despite the Dept. of Justice requiring some sell-off of domestic brands, the approval of a merger by the behemoths AB InBev and SAB Miller further harms competition and smaller companies.

Cooperative Ownership of Stock Photo Business Gives Freelancers Fair Pay
While many businesses tend to be large and international by nature, that doesn’t mean they can’t be providing a healthy living for the people creating their value. Amy Cortese reports in the New York Times.

The Movement Grows! Welcome to Three New AMIBA Affiliates

Locally Owned Murfreesboro (Tennessee)
San Francisco Partnership for Local Businesses (California)
Wood River Vision 20/20 (Nebraska)

Learn how your group will benefit by affiliating with AMIBA if you’re involved with helping local businesses!

New Tools for Independent Business Advocates and Communities

Rules for Community Investment
Jenny Kassan of the Sustainable Economies Law Center describes the recently-implemented rules opening opportunity for those seeking ways to attract investment for a local business or exploring ways to enable more local residents to invest in their own community.

Spotlight on Farmers Market Resources
The value of farmers markets can transcend food & commerce in small towns, as this story explains. A new toolkit helps farmers markets quantify their local economic benefit. And a new study analyzes the local economic impact of farmers who sell directly to the public at farmers markets, through CSAs and farm stands.

*The SBA launched a new website* aiming to make it easier for small – medium business (SBA defines businesses with up to 499 employees as small) to compete for government contracts.

NEW! Geo-graphics

Almost any message connects more strongly with people when it’s associated with a place they care about. These new outreach tools help make the ‪”Buy Local‬,” ‪”Bank Local,” “Dine Local” and other themes more impactful for your state, province, country or territory. See more samples and learn how to get yours here!

Poster-banners-Vitality-Australia

Poster-banners-Bank-OK

Protect the Reputation of Your Organization
We advise small business advocates to be diligent about fact-checking anything before posting it on their website, social media and especially news releases. We continue to see exaggerated claims about the local multiplier effect in many places, which is sad, since the real numbers are truly compelling! Protecting your credibility is worth the effort. Our thoroughness is one reason journalists consider AMIBA a trusted resource, and we were honored to be recognized recently as such by a business journalism organization.

Art as a Welcome Mat
How can rural communities attract people to local businesses? By grabbing attention to lure people into town. One way to do this is with strategically placed public art. See this great toolkit about placemaking with public art from Jackson Hole Public Art and the LOR Foundation.

Using B Corporations as a New Tool for Economic Development

Healthy Communities Nurture Healthier People
See The Future of Health is Local, a recommended new report from BALLE and Kaiser Permanente.

Monadnock Buy Local will be a demonstration site partner for a new, locally-focused crowdfunding platform, part of a research project funded by the USDA. The Monadnock region of New Hampshire is one of six communities or areas recently chosen for the project, which ultimately will include 30 demonstration sites.

MBL Director Jen Risley hopes the organization can use this opportunity to launch a “pollinator” enterprise that encourages more localized economic development and is self-supporting. The Local Crowd, the group who submitted the grant, currently is seeking applicants for a third round of demonstration site communities. Request for Proposals is available here.

Updated resource: Why and How to Choose a Locally-Owned Bank or Credit Union
Related readinfr-iba 400x400g: How Local Business Groups Can Partner Effectively With Community Financial Institutions

Affiliate Profile: Front Royal IBA: Keeping the Charm in Front Royal and Helping Indie Businesses Prosper

New AMIBA Board Members

We’re pleased to announce two new additions to AMIBA’s board of directors and thank Erin Kilmer Neel of Oakland Grown for her many years of service and valuable contributions as she rotates off the board.

Kristi Streiffert directs Local First, helping Durango and La Plata County, Colorado, build a thriving and resilient local economy since 2008. In addition to her work at Local First, Kristi owns a wholesale bird seed business in Durango.

Laury Hammel operates the Longfellow Clubs in Massachusetts and plays key roles in several regional organizations. He founded the Sustainable Business Network of Mass. and co-founded the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, among many other pro-local initiatives. We interviewed Laury in 2015, and you’ll see why we’re excited to have him joining our team!

AMIBA is Hiring! (and seeking fall interns)

AMIBA Webinar: Does Your “Join Us” Page Suck?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 4:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Pacific
Your website is a key member recruitment tool, but is your value proposition compelling? Do you clearly state how your work benefits business owners, rather than talking about features of your organization? In looking at more than 100 organizations, we found the majority of such pages to be seriously deficient in at least one area.

Join us for a webinar in which we’ll look at both effective examples and put willing participants’ websites “in the fishbowl” for feedback from your peers, as well as AMIBA staff. The webinar is free for AMIBA affiliates and costs just $20 for others. Affiliates: email Hallie (hallie [at] amiba [dot] net) to reserve your space. Others interested: please register here

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