Strength in Numbers, December 2016

Strength in Numbers, December 2016

Helping Small Businesses Build Safer, More Welcoming Communities (and Better Connect with Many Customers)

AMIBA now is producing window decals for businesses, schools, churches and any other establishment wanting all current and potential patrons to feel safe and help build a “Not In Our Town” mindset toward bigotry. Growing interest in this graphic (which we created more than a year ago) led us to produce decals to make it easy for institutions to spread the welcoming energy in person as well as through online and print communications.

But our work will go well beyond just messaging. View the decals in our store or learn more about our campaign plans (and see free graphics for online use).


News Briefs

Important New Reports on Amazon Corporation
Amazon’s vast anti-free-market power across a range of business sectors is gaining attention, and two new reports are accelerating awareness. This month the Institute for Local Self-Reliance released How Amazon Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities and Good Jobs First published Why State and Local Governments Should Stop Subsidizing Amazon’s Distribution Network (pdf). You’ll find these recommended reports and the best news coverage on Amazon each month — along with graphics to help keep people going local instead of Amazon — at All About Amazon.

Who Speaks for Small Business? Nobody on Trump’s Economic Panel
Politico reports, “Of the 16 members of the Trump forum, 14 are current or former CEOs or chairmen of large enterprises or investment firms. None of the members appear to represent small businesses or labor interests.” AMIBA Co-director Jeff Milchen provided the independent business perspective for the report.

Top Hits of 2016
Yeah, we’re getting in on the year-end list ritual too! See what others found most appealing as we gather the five most-read articles (from non-AMIBA) sources in our monthly newsletter, as well as the five most-visited online features during 2016. See what your fellow readers found most intriguing and useful!

A Mattress-Shopping Quest Illustrates the Crucial Role of Independent Merchants
This story from The New Localization blog shows another angle on why we need indies.

A Portland Business’ Story: Local Business Procurement & Community Impact
Small Business Saturday inspired a Portland Buy Local (ME) board member to examine where his own business’ spending was going and shares the results.

A Single Tweet from Indie Bookstore Leads to 100s of Book Recommendations
Another illustration of why indie bookstores rock!

Barriers to Minority Entrepreneurship
The Kauffman Foundation recently published this useful fact sheet.

Buying Local is a Gift to Your Community
AMIBA’s Chelsea Eddy crafted this article for Montana newspapers to encourage buying local for the holidays — it employs a model you can easily replicate. AMIBA affiliates can access our guide to writing and publishing effective guest commentaries (member login required) or contact us for help crafting a piece for your own community.

News from AMIBA Affiliates

Local Business Groups Get Creative, Give Back for Small Business Saturdayshopsmalldog
Small Business Saturday once again broke records, turning out about 112 million people to support neighborhood businesses. We estimate at least 65 AMIBA affiliates promoted the event, engaging residents by hosting scavenger hunts (Local First Arkansas), supporting nonprofits (Nashville Independent Business Alliance), and appealing to local media and state officials (Keep Saint Petersburg Local).

Local First (La Plata County, CO) earned a great editorial endorsement from the Durango Herald, while dozens of affiliates leveraged holiday campaigns to gain favorable news coverage for their pro-local organizing work.

MetroIBA scored a big win with the Minneapolis City Council this month, helping convince them to create a small business development office to help entrepreneurs and eliminate needless barriers to entry. And it’s not symbolic — four new full-time positions were allocated to address the needs of local business. See the local TV news spot (with Metro IBA staff and board pictured).

Locally Owned Murfreesboro (TN) is the latest AMIBA affiliate to receive federal 501c6 tax-exempt status through our Group Exemption Program. Find out more about this valuable benefit of AMIBA affiliation, which saves local business organizations $800 or more!

SBN Massachusetts is building a stellar lineup of speakers and workshops for the 2017 national gathering of independent business and localization advocates. See our overview, including discounts for AMIBA affiliates, or go straight to the conference page. Early-bird registration deadline is January 31.

Empowering Communities is the Answer

Amazement. That’s the word that best describes the reaction most people have when they learn the budget on which we provide personal support for nearly 100 community organizations, the huge library of free resources we offer, and the singular voice we create to represent the interests of communities and their local entrepreneurs. Our voice will be needed more than ever (as in the Politico report noted above) in the U.S. as executives from corporate chains prepare to occupy key positions of power in the next administration.

We’ve played a foundational role in building a national movement and we have multiple initiatives ready to build it further. But we need your help to do it! We generate earned income to fund many core operations, but donations and business memberships from people like you are essential to advancing this work. Please make a tax-deductible gift to AMIBA today to keep the movement growing!

Contact us to explore joining these champions of independent business as an AMIBA sponsor.


Click image for a menu of free holiday-themed graphics to spread the pro-local message on social media

As 2016 comes to a close, we wish you the warmth of family and friends, the richness of real community, and may you ride into 2017 with renewed energy, vision, and passion!

If you came to this newsletter via the web and like what you see, subscribe via the form at top of right column.



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