Strength in Numbers, July 2014

Strength in Numbers, July 2014

Luring Outside Businesses: the Opposite of Economic Development
Offering incentives to absentee-owned corporations may actually yield fewer jobs than doing nothing. If more of your local tax dollars are being used for business attraction than nurturing homegrown businesses (far too common), talk to us about how to start changing that! Many groups have adapted this article to publish locally as a starter.

harpoonEmployee Ownership and Succession Planning
The CEO of Harpoon Brewery in Boston will ensure the company remains locally-rooted by selling the business to employees. Larger local businesses often think selling out to absentee owners is the only way to recapture the full value of their investment, but worker ownership is an increasingly popular alternative. The Democracy Collaborative recently published a great resource to learn more on this topic: Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale

The Fight for Sales Tax Fairness Goes On
AMIBA joined with several independent trade groups (via Advocates for Independent Business) to endorse the newly-introduced Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA) today. Please contact us if your local group would like help advocating for e-fairness in your area.

Give Seniors More Pharmacy Choice
The Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act (H.R.4577), recently introduced in Congress, would allow independent pharmacies into the mix of “preferred providers” (now dominated by chains) for Medicare participants in underserved areas. This commentary from the National Community Pharmacists Association makes the case for reform.

Chains Branding Our Children: Should We Object to “Charity” That Targets Kids?
Rethinking Schools details how Target Corporation embeds favorable branding through sponsorship of school libraries. Perhaps local businesses could provide a better alternative through a program like Causetown?

Abe says buy local-webTwelve Tips to Create a Successful Cash Mob
AMIBA interviewed several cash mob organizers to create this new resource for anyone interested in using these events to help their independent businesses, raise community awareness and have some fun!

Walmart Inc. Challenges Local Tax Assessments, Regardless of Merit
But Maine communities aren’t falling for it. Is yours?

An Australian professor says they can play a big role in boosting entrepreneurship.

Small Business Owners’ Views on Climate & Energy Policy Reform
The American Sustainable Business Council released findings of a nationwide survey in this new report.

American Express OPENBilingual Outreach
Sponsorship from American Express OPEN will enable AMIBA to release a Spanish edition of the popular publication, Building Buy Local Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending. Look for the announcement in an upcoming newsletter. The English edition (also produced with sponsorship by AmEx OPEN is available for free (pdf) upon request. (Color magazine-format copies are offered free with any purchase of educational merchandise.

Finally, American Express is providing packages of support materials for any business wishing to become a “Neighborhood Champion” for Small Business Saturday this year. Learn more here.

TheBeachesWelcome New AMIBA Affiliates


New Business Members 

Learn more about business membership or affiliation benefits for local groups.

AMIBA is Hiring!

AMIBA seeks an Operations Manager for our Bozeman, MT headquarters, and our allies at Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Business Alliance for Local Living Economies are hiring at their Portland, ME and Oakland, CA offices respectively.

Local Action

The Beaches Small Business Initiative is the latest AMIBA affiliate to gain federal tax-exempt status through our 501c6 Group Exemption Program. Reports to AMIBA from current group members are due August 1 to make sure your exemption remains active. We submit our annual update to the IRS that includes additions to the exempt group by October 1 — now is a great time to apply to the program if you’ve been thinking about it!

Co-working Facilities: Natural Partners for Local Business Groups
Using part of a $100,000 innovation grant from South Carolina and support from the city of Charleston, Lowcountry Local First opened Local Works, a co-working space, to provide low-cost commercial space for local entrepreneurs. (At least two IBAs use co-working facilities as their headquarters.)

Shop Local Raleigh engages to stop a misguided city sign ordinance that would hinder local businesses.

Syracuse First’s Shift 10% Campaign has more than 1,000 signers (1134 listed on website) in three months. Here’s the launch story.

indie-week-300x250-for-webIndependents Week
Several communities took advantage of Independents Week to editorialize on the importance of locally-owned business, including Springfield Local First and Jackson, MS.Meanwhile, Dane Buy Local was among groups generating great coverage from local media for Indie Week campaigns.

The Mile High Business Alliance Policy Committee and eight participating local and state legislatures convened to create the 2014 MHBA Policy Platform – Key Public Investments for Thriving Local Economy. Read through the key themes which will guide MHBA’s public policy work as an advocate for small, local business.

Providing Value to Business Alliance Members
MetroIBA (Twin Cities) recently began adding to the value of their public education and marketing work on behalf of members by convening roundtable discussions for specific business sectors. A group may discuss business challenges and opportunities pertinent to their sector, policy concerns, or act as a mentoring group. Gathering your entire membership in one place at a given time is challenging, but smaller gatherings are a great way to build cohesion among your group and help your members view each other as allies.

St_Pete_Postcard Greetings_from_Colorado greetings_from_Milwaukee

Encourage Residents to Seek Out Indies Wherever they Go!
Portland Buy Local (Maine) recently included this great reminder to their newsletter subscribers:

Keep Local in Mind on Your Vacations! Wherever your summer adventures may take you, remember to seek out and support local businesses! Use this map to discover other Buy Local organizations across the country, helping you make your summer travels and vacation unique local experiences. And be sure to share our directory with your visitors this summer!

Don’t Do This!
Six Common Mistakes That Kill “Buy Local” Campaigns. Published in January, this article by AMIBA’s two most frequent workshop leaders is our most-shared post of 2014.

Hot Discussion Topics in the LinkedIn Group for Independent Business Advocates this week: Mobile apps to support local business and what can be done when rapidly escalating rents displace local businesses.

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