Strength in Numbers, February 2016

Strength in Numbers, February 2016

New Survey Shows Educational Campaigns of Local Business Coalitions Are Delivering Big Benefits

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) just released their 9th annual survey of more than 3200 independent business owners. The results provide (mostly) great news for independents and again show sustained “buy local” campaigns and Independent Business Alliances are yielding an enormous return on investment. Among the major findings:

  • Independent businesses in communities with an active “buy independent/buy local” campaign run by grassroots groups saw revenues grow by a stellar 7.4% in 2015 — dwarfing the 4.2% increase for businesses in communities without such an alliance.
  • 76% of business owners who actively market their participation in their group reported positive impact on their business, while just 17% of those who don’t actively promote the effort saw benefit.
  • Independent businesses reported a 5.3% increase in employment in 2015.

Click for page with large and Spanish versions

The full report, (15 pp pdf) is well worth reading, or see ILSR’s summary. If your local group has not yet issued a localized news release to take advantage of this opportunity to build support for your work, ask us for a “plug-and-play” news release template. It’s an opportunity not to miss!

Note: If you’re among the many groups that use our graph showing 3 years of ILSR survey data on the benefits of buy local campaigns (on your website or in promotional materials), be sure to update with this 2016 graph.

For local groups engaged in this work, we recommend including this image on your websites’ “Join Us” page — it conveys in seconds why local businesses or your local government should invest in your work!

Get Started Right!
Both the English and Spanish versions of our Guide to Effective Buy Local Campaigns have been updated with 2016 data and a new graph. Get your free 12-page pdf here to learn the keys to creating these shifts in your community!

More Reasons to Go Local!


Click to view collection of banners or download

Based on three major surveys in recent months showing independent businesses beating their chain competitors in customer satisfaction, we expanded our popular “Top Reasons to Go Local” page to 12!

The graphic versions of these reasons make great posts for growing your social media audience.

Also on that page, we turned the “top 12 reasons” into a double-sided flier you can print and distribute on paper in your community/business (ask for one customized with your name/logo/url).


How Amazon is Changing Communities

The newest study from research firm Civic Economics provides a wealth of state-by-state info on Amazon’s impact on tax revenue, displacement of local business & more, including a easy-to-use map to get data from your own state.

In related news, Amazon Inc. reportedly plans to open hundreds of new bookstores and enter the shipping business. See these stories and more of the most notable reporting on All About Amazon.

brain_drainLocally-Owned Businesses Help Stop “Brain Drain”
This sociological study adds another strong argument for local business ownership to your arsenal.

Is Sprawl Suppressing Upward Mobility?
Research published recently in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning suggests more compact communities foster greater upward mobility for low-income people than those that sprawl.

Along with being more accessible by foot, bike and public transportation, denser communities tend to be comprised of more independent businesses. All this improves the ability of less-wealthy people to get and keep good jobs, assert the authors.

Black-owned Businesses Increase, But Their Valuation Is 1/3 That of Others
Good news or an indicator of lacking job opportunities?

What Happens to a Small Town When Walmart Abandons It?
As Walmart closes more than 150 U.S. stores, towns that welcomed the corporation often are left with no grocer, pharmacist or hardware store — a scenario we’ve warned of for at least 15 years.

Investing in the Local Food Economy Just Got Easier

Welcome to AMIBA!

New Local Affiliates
Unique Eugene, Eugene, OR
Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce (SD)

New Business Members
Clayscott Insurance Agency (San Francisco)
PCR Consulting (North Granby, CT)

Learn the benefits of joining AMIBA

Tools and Tips

Effective Event Registration Pages
Good tips for groups who register participants online for events — to maximize your registration page, process and participation.

Fundraising for Local Business Coalitions
Our January affiliate webinar now is posted in Member Resources (login required): Diversifying Funding: A Local Success Story. Our thanks to Kelly Andrew, director of Local First Milwaukee, for her willingness to share her insights on their strategy, successes and lessons learned!

AMIBA on Tour

AMIBA co-founder Jeff Milchen will be speaking and facilitating workshops to help develop pro-local business initiatives in Nashville, TN; Lakeland, Cooper City and Jupiter, FL in March.

We’re now scheduling events in several  regions for late-April to May. See why more than one hundred communities, trade groups and government entities have brought the experts from AMIBA to inspire their members, develop their campaigns or spark new local alliances! Overview here. For grassroots groups, underwriting from American Express OPEN can cover more than half the cost for any event scheduled through May! Contact us for details.

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