American Independent Business Alliance

Strength in Numbers, July 2013

Strength in Numbers, July 2013

Indie Business News and Reports from AMIBA Affiliates


AlbuquerqueKeep It Querque (Albuquerque, NM) is the latest organization to commission an economic impact study to quantify how much more money local independent businesses return to their local economy compared to chain outlets. Major findings of the study, conducted by Civic Economics, include:

  • Nearly three times more money recirculates locally when spent at local independent retailers compared to chains
  • More than 2.5 times more money is re-spent locally when people choose a local independent restaurant over a chain.

See the latest Keep It Querque newsletter to download the report. For many more studies and graphs you can use to show the multiplier effect visually, visit our multiplier effect page.


Teaching Kids the Value of Going Local

April Atwood of Scott’s Marketplace offers ideas on nurturing the next generation of local business supporters.


Shop Local Raleigh
 has engaged a hip young blogger to reach the twenty-something crowd with local business news and information from that perspective. Report from SLR is the new blog, PostGrad Raleigh, drove over 1,000 hits in under a week and featured member businesses purveying pizza, craft beer, and a sports cafe. It’s not just promotion — the blog offers a coming-of-age perspective on life and the community…that includes a lot of great indie businesses.

downtown-provincetownPro-Local Policy: An Essential Component of Successful Organizing
Why Does Cape Cod Have Such Charm? Policies that gives citizens meaningful power over development decisions, for one.
Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance offers “A Localist Policy Agenda” to explain the value of engaging your local governments in proactive work to support local entrepreneurs and ensure citizens have power to shape their community’s future. Mitchell will be offering a webinar on the topic for us this fall — stay tuned!


Thank Women Business Owners for Minimizing Our Economic Downturn

According to a 2013 report (pdf) commissioned by American Express OPEN, women-owned businesses have been crucial, not just to their owners and communities, but also to national employment over the past five years. While employment at private firms declined overall, women-owned businesses bucked the downward trends by creating 175,000 new jobs over the period. Without this counter-trend, our recession would have been deeper still.

While perhaps self-evident, it’s worth considering almost all women-owned businesses (franchises being the exception) also are independent businesses.


Letter to the Editor: “Don’t forget Portland’s locally owned businesses”

This letter by Portland Buy Local (ME) President Kristen Smith responds to an article focused almost exclusively on new construction and development as ushering in a “new golden age.”

Such letters are an impactful, but under-utilized tool among local Alliances to shape local attitudes and media coverage. We encourage affiliates to review (log in first) our guide to Writing Effective Letters to the Editor and make submitting such letters a regular activity among your board and staff. We’re eager to help you with ideas and copy editing.

For Business Owners

How to Make Yelp Work for Your Business
While we wouldn’t so quickly dismiss Trip Advisor as another impactful rating site, this article offers helpful guidance on how to use online ratings to bolster your business.

For Retiring Business Owners, Your Employees Could Be Your Ideal Buyer
New from our friends at the Democracy Collaborative.

The Case for Paying People More
This Harvard Business Review commentary makes the case for why businesses should consider paying more than prevailing wages (includes useful background links).

New Public Resources from AMIBA

Quick Reference and Links to AMIBA Affiliates on Social Media
Social media is about conversation, sharing and interaction. We’ve created a new web directory to make it easy for you to connect with any or all current AMIBA affiliates via their websites, Facebook and Twitter pages.

We encourage local Alliances to follow and learn from each other. You might be inspired with ideas for your organization and find useful connections to make. Please let us know if you have additions to offer.

Primer-front-cover“Buy Local” Campaign Primer Going Mobile
Our hugely popular guide to developing effective buy local campaigns will become available electronically (free) in early August. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get first notice of publication. If you’d like the full-color 12-page magazine version, you can order them or get one free with any purchase of our ready-made outreach materials (including the new “Come In We’re Local” decals based on the cover image).


Easier Navigation on AMIBA Website 

We just streamlined navigation at AMIBA.net to let you jump directly to many of the most frequently visited pages. Instead of clicking twice in different locations, many popular pages are now accessible directly as drop-downs from 8 main links. Just hover over a navigation link to see other options falling under that topic.

How to Improve Your Newsletter Confirmation Rate
Alex Kelsey offers tips on how to ensure most people confirm subscription to your newsletter and receive it to their inbox.

MilwaukeeIn Brief

New AMIBA Affiliates
Welcome to Local First Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI), which recently made news by successfully persuading the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously to pass a resolution supporting the organization and its work helping Milwaukee’s independent businesses to thrive.

A Potent Member Reminder
SBN Massachusetts includes a reminder to member businesses to seek each other’s goods and services toward increasing indie interdependence and strengthening the local economy in each newsletter (as part of a report on their B2B program):

Remember: Think Members First! What better way to support the local economy and each other than to support SBN members who share your values…

As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts

Food Hub Links Local Produce with Local Buyers

New Resources for AMIBA Affiliates and Business Members

These links require logging in to Member Resources before viewing. If you are not yet a business member or affiliate, you can learn more here.

We have added an online version (PDF) of our social media education session featured at AMIBA’s 2010 national leadership conference.

One social media tip we recently noticed some groups have overlooked: Simplify Your Facebook Username. Ensure your followers can find your organization on Facebook by claiming your preferred username. Otherwise, you’ll have a Facebook-generated url with a long string of digits.


Conference Call Recordings Now Online

Our June and July conference calls on Developing Major Sponsors and Selling Memberships now are posted as mp3 recordings, along with supplementing materials.

Supporting materials for the sponsor development call include accompanying slides and our new Playbook for Approaching Large Potential Sponsors, by AMIBA Development Director, Joe Grafton, which we hope will help you achieve stronger and larger partnerships in your community. Please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss ways to improve your fundraising.

Great Opportunity for Low-Cost Community Trainings this Fall/Winter

More than 20 communities received a big boost for their buy local campaigns or local business groups last year by hosting presentations and trainings by AMIBA speakers at greatly reduced cost, thanks to underwriting offered by American Express OPEN.

Based on the great results for groups hosting those events, we’re thrilled to announce that underwriting has been renewed for this fall and winter (terms for accepting underwriting summarized here). Please inquire now to get details and learn of potential dates in your region, as we’ll begin scheduling next week.

Additionally, we already have plans for visits to some regions that will allow even greater savings, as travel costs will be shared by multiple groups. These include :
* Oct. 8-11 in Northeast states / Southeastern provinces

* Oct. 14-16 in Upstate New York
* Oct. 15-18 in Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.
* Early November in Great Plains + Southwestern U.S.

You can review some of the most popular presentation and workshop topics here. Our trainings provide inspiration and direct organizing help to for both new and well-established pro-local campaigns — often saving you months of time and substantial funds. AMIBA speakers also offer engaging keynotes and breakouts for conferences. See the long list of satisfied clients here.

Stay Informed and Connected!

If you came here via a weblink, subscribe via the box at the top of right column to get Strength in Numbers in your inbox each month (we do not sell or share emails).

This newsletter offers just a sampling of the news and tools we develop or report on each month. Check out our social media networks (click icons below to visit) to get the most timely offerings.

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