Strength in Numbers, January 2016

Strength in Numbers, January 2016

Indies Again Rated Tops by Customers in National Survey


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The Consumer Union tabulated more than 40,000 reader assessments of electronics retailers for a report published last month, and independents trounced their chain competitors! Share the eye-opening results from this and other recent studies in these social media-friendly graphs covering many business sectors.

We’ll reward anyone who points us to new material we use in this collection!

Keep Your Pro-Local Messaging Fresh!
Valentine’s Day generates $60 billion in sales in the U.S. alone. See our expanded library of Valentine-themed ads and articles and employ them to engage your community or readers toward shifting more of that spending toward independent business in advance!

Come-in-Were-Local-VDAY-heart-Reg“Come In” Decals on Sale This Month
The window clings we adapted for the above image — our top-selling educational tool for storefront businesses — are on sale through the end of Jan. at just $20 for 20 — including shipping! See all outreach items here.

Don’t Get Duped! Find a Real Local Florist
With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s a great time to educate people about the difference between a florist and an order-taker. Don’t forget to tag your local florists when sharing it on social media! See also Flower Deliveries: Advertising vs Reality (we welcome your additions).

cool_cowsCOOL Ruling Shows Trade Pacts’ Threat to Consumers, Small Businesses
Thanks to the subservience of U.S. law to the WTO, Americans no longer have the right to know the origins of meat on market shelves. In The Washington Times, AMIBA co-director Jeff Milchen explains the threats to small business and communities that lie beneath the surface of “trade agreements” like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We invite you to share your thoughts  on TPP and COOL in the comment section as well!

winter tour mapGoing South
Jeff Milchen will be on the road to help pro-local business alliances form or accelerate their impact in many states and provinces in upcoming months via community presentations and workshops. Next up: Southeastern and Central U.S.

Wherever you are, AMIBA speakers can help you inspire support and action for your local businesses. Learn more here.

News Highlights + New Resources

Independent Businesses in Wales Expose Corporate Tax Dodges by Exploiting the Same Loophole

What is a Local Independent Business?
Here’s our suggested criteria in response to this often-asked question.

Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation and Community Development
New report from Community Wealth.

Pollinators, Social Enterprise and Remaking Economic Development
Locavesting interviews longtime localization thought leader Michael Shuman.

If any local officials think big box chains can be trusted to honor a deal, here’s the latest lesson.

New Studies Reveal 5 Reasons Policymakers Should Prioritize Local Business in 2016
Report from Olivia LaVecchia of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Excessive Parking Causes More Driving
Yes, actually causes it.

Can Shifts in Investment Close the Racial Wealth Gap? 

Welcome to AMIBA:

Local Alliances
Castle Rock Independent Business Alliance, CO
Blackstone Valley IBA, RI (returning)

New Business Members
Maine Street Marketing
All My Life Jewelers

Learn the benefits of joining AMIBA

Affiliate News

Telisha-Arguelles-Cobb-smallNashville IBA Founder Honored
Telisha Arguelles Cobb of the Nashville IBA was selected as a New Leadership Council fellow. The program for emerging community leaders includes monthly skill development trainings. Fellowships are offered in many cities home to IBAs (listed at top of linked page).

Portland Buy Local speaks out against city plans to avoid letting strip malls and chain stores make Portland like everywhere else.

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo received a $2500 grant from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation to support their public education work.

New Campaign Examples
Local First (Durango, CO), Go Local Sonoma County Co-op (CA) and Louisville IBA (KY) all shared new material from their 2015 holiday campaigns. AMIBA affiliates can see the whole library (log in first) here. And while you may not be ready for Christmas 2016 yet, many examples are adaptable to other times.

Diversifying Funding for Local Alliances: A Success Story
A recording of our January webinar with Local First Milwaukee now is available to members (log in first).

We invite you to send us local news for the February edition!


Click for larger images

In Brief

What’s happening to entrepreneurs in the largest U.S. city? Check out the 2015 “State of the Chains” report by Center for an Urban Future.

Have Black Entrepreneurs Driven the U.S. Crime Drop?

A Local Food Breakthrough?
Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative is bidding against transnationals Sodexo and Aramark to win a $12.5 million, five-year contract to operate food procurement and service operations at 7 University of Maine campuses.

More Than Half the Total Increase in Online Sales in 2015 Went to One Corporation
Any guesses which one? See the top recent reads concerning

Map of Genuine Local Business Coalitions
Since we’re often asked about whether local groups not affiliated with AMIBA are “the real deal,” we mapped out the other genuine independent advocacy groups we know about. See them here.
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