American Independent Business Alliance

Strength in Numbers, December 2012

Strength in Numbers, December 2012

Independent Business Alliances in the News

More and more local Alliances are creating a needed political voice for independent businesses in their communities, as noted in several of these recent reports.

The Mile High Business Alliance just hosted its first Legislative Breakfast with MHBA members meeting state legislators to discuss the future of small and local businesses in Colorado — just weeks before the 2013 Legislative Session begins.

The Metro IBA (Twin Cities) adopted a Legislative Platform to Strengthen Minnesota’s Locally-Owned Independent Businesses — much of it adapted from AMIBA.

Sonoma County Go Local Coop got a great write-up on the reinvestment power of choosing local in their regional newsweekly.

Shop Local Raleigh took member concerns over City signage policy for special events to the city council, which approved their requested revisions on December 4 (took effect 12/18).

The Albany, NY weekly, Metroland, helped advance the pro-local work of Capital District Local First (Albany, NY) in their feature Paying It Homeward.

The Austin IBA is leveraging City backing to increase support for local entrepreneurs.

In related news, this article on public subsidies to Amazon.com illustrates one example of why independent businesses need a cohesive voice.

buy-it-where-you-try-it-value-404New Public Resources from AMIBA

Free Poster to Help Mitigate ¨Showrooming¨
In response to requests from folks who saw our “Try It Local, Buy It Local” web sticker, we recently created an 8.5¨” x 11″ poster template with the message. It´s an easy, do-it-yourself tool storefront businesses can employ to encourage folks go local. Download it (free) here. For affiliates and business members, we’ll gladly customize it with your name and logo at no cost (nominal charge for others).

Wrap It TagWrap it Up With Locally-Designed and Printed Gift Wrap!
Local First of La Plata County, Colorado partnered for the third year with the Durango Herald newspaper to turn designs of 6 local artists into gift wrap, which the Herald prints. It’s then distributed member businesses and at the newspaper office, with proceeds going to support the work Local First. Learn the details here.

A Gallery of Holiday Facebook Banners
See examples of how some groups integrated the holiday-focused Shift Your Shopping and Small Business Saturday imagery into their Facebook pages.

New Member Resources

Available to all affiliates. Log in here before clicking links below.

Fundraising Tools
For affiliates enrolled in AMIBA’s fiscal sponsorship program — see this page which includes a form to help you receive in-kind gifts and guidance for how to handle checks, cash, and more — with transparency.

Job Descriptions for IBA Staff Positions
Many new examples were posted to help ease your planning and save you time.

3yr-ilsr-study-graph-wborder-12-17-12-lowresNew Graphic to Attract Support for Your Alliance or Campaign

The Institute for Local Self Reliance has executed nationwide surveys each of the past five years to quantify changes in annual sales at independent businesses. Every year, businesses from communities served by IBAs and similar organizations have reported dramatically stronger sales than businesses in other communities. Though correlation does not prove causation (see our wording on graph, for example) the visual is a powerful selling point for your local Alliance.

We just produced a high-resolution graph charting the past three years’ results 2009-2011 for those wishing to include it in printed materials as well as on your website (click here for jpg and link to high-resolution pdf). AMIBA affiliates should have received notice about the upcoming January survey by email (contact us if not).

Most Popular Newsletter and Social Media Posts of 2012

The Three Most-Clicked Newsletter Items
1. Seven Ways Businesses and Communities Can Counter “Showrooming”
2. Accurately Explaining the Local Multiplier Effect
3. The Slow-Motion Collapse of American Entrepreneurship

Eat-Drink-and-Be-Local-LARGE-Christmas4x4The Three Most Widely-Shared Social Media Posts

1. Announcement of Buy Independent / Buy Local Campaign Primer “Building Buy Local Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending” (over 4,000 copies distributed to date).
2. Eat Drink and Be Local web ad (click image to access higher-resolution files).
3. “Try It Local, Buy It Local” web sticker (see above).

You’re Making a Difference!
The Belknap IBA (NH) recenty received affirming words from a business member that often go unspoken: I would like to send out a Christmas thank you to BIBA for truly supporting my small locally-owned business…Having been a member of similar business groups over the past 40 years, BIBA has done the most for my membership dollars and does what it said it would do when I joined, “Supporting Locally Owned Businesses!” Thanks again BIBA. Your hard work is appreciated.

Thanks to all of you doing great work to help your communities and local entrepreneurs thrive!

ShiftYourShoppingwebGet on the Map!

In its second year, the collaborative Shift Your Shopping campaign helped generate many news stories highlighting the importance of independent business and generated 40 more organizational endorsers. Though Christmas is past, we still urge you to enlist your group to get on the map and enhance your online presence. Also, tell us your holiday campaign successes to join the many recent reports.

Do Your Part to keep the Localization Movement Growing!

Finally, if you value AMIBA’s work, the huge library of resources we provide, and want us to keep offering more, please make a drop in our tip jar.

It’s been a year of remarkable progress on every front for AMIBA, but we need your help to keep the work going and growing. Contributions to AMIBA, a 501c3 educational organization, are tax deductible. Please chip in what you can. Thank You!

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