Thanks to all who’ve already offered input on our Go Local, Grow Local Conference (Minneapolis May 8-11, 2014). If you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes to indicate your wishes via this brief survey and help us make the event all you want it to be!
Small Business Saturday Boosts Indies…
Small Business Saturday generated 294 city and 41 state proclamations of support, helping raise awareness even higher than last year. While overall retail spending rose just 2.2% for the post-Thanksgiving weekend, independents reporting Small Business Saturday results enjoyed a strong 3.6% increase from 2012. Thanks to all who helped the event advance the pro-local message!
…and Let’s Keep the Shift Going!
There’s a lot of holiday shopping still going on, so keep the pro-indie message prominent! We’re thrilled to see more than 190,000 views for our Shift Your Shopping for Good video with Kevin Bacon in its first month, helping lead more than 180 local organizations representing 40,000 independent businesses to engage. Also, more than 300 businesses already have joined the first SYS for Good charity initiative.
New Public Service Announcements for You to Get on Your Local Radio Stations (Free)
In addition to the new Shift Your Shopping radio spots, we added a new year-round PSA to our library of free educational tools to help spread pro-local business themes via your website, business & community. More to come next month!
Of course, all of the tools we provide free to you cost money to create. We can continue only if people like you who value our work “pay it forward” with a voluntary contribution. Please make a tax-deductible donation today and allow us to keep freely offering more of these resources.
Holiday Posters, Ads and Gift Tags
It’s not too late to use these free “buy local and independent” graphics on your website, social media pages or your business to keep the “buy local” message prominent in everyone’s mind. See them here and share with your colleagues to keep the “Local Shift” growing.
A warm welcome to new affiliates:
News from Local Affiliates
Shop Local Raleigh is engaging citizens in their “Where’s Walter?” Instagram campaign. The campaign highlights local businesses and gives people a chance to win a custom-painted SL Raleigh scooter. Contestants look for Sir Walter in participating members’ businesses, take a photo and post it with the #WheresWalter hashtag for contest entry.
The Louisville IBA used the Small Business Saturday media opportunity to promote their important work. A great example of using other people’s news to your advantage.
The Belknap IBA partnered with the Bank of New Hampshire bank to launch their new local loyalty card program.
Via Think Local First (AMIBA affiliate in Washtenaw County, MI) comes this new video and original song to promote going local, featuring some outstanding local musicians. (It exceeds 10 minutes, but makes a fine background listen).
The Mile High Business Alliance, with support from the Denver Foundation, launched Neighborhood Catalyst – a crowdfunding site devoted to funding Colorado-based projects and needs, such as local businesses needing a piece of equipment or seed capital. People utilizing the site may solicit cash, or even goods or services to help get their project off the ground.
As part of their holiday “Shift Your Spending” campaign, Local First Utah created a calculator housed on their website. Visitors can enter the name of their county or community and find out how much money would return to the area economy if every resident shifted just 10% of their spending to local independents.
AMIBA is proud to welcome to our Advisory Board Susan Crandall, President of Workforce Results in Somerville, MA. You can follow her on Twitter at @WorkResults.
Creating Positive Perceptions
The National Main Street Center offers helpful tips for cities with image problems.
Food on Our Minds
Building Infrastructure to Support Local Food from Orion Magazine
Learn how the Bozeman, MT Community Food Co-op more than doubled their volume of locally-sourced produce in a single year.
Enabling Rural Residents Easy Access to Groceries
With the help of the community foundation, Morland, Kansas brings a local grocery store to its residents.
New Graphic Tools to Promote Buying In-store
We added this new graphic to our previous offering accompanying the popular “7 Ways to Counter Showrooming” article.
Valuable Data Free to Retailers
Did you know the Retail Benchmarks Resource Center hosts a huge database of benchmark data on gross margins, turnover, ROA and more?
7 Common Weaknesses of Local Shops
Becky McCray of Small Biz Survival produced this helpful 7-part blog post. It offers solutions, not just critique.
Connect! We always have far too many interesting success stories and news to fit in one monthly newsletter. Follow us via your preferred social media channels (icons below and in right hand column) to get the latest news and engage with us! We occasionally present media opportunities and other time-sensitive news our followers.