Independents Week is an annual celebration of independent business and entrepreneurism which provides a great “hook” to spark positive media coverage of indie business around the 4th of July (usually a slow news period). Participation in Indie Week is open to anyone, whether individual or community group.
We created graphics templates for local production, including web banners, print ads and Facebook-optimized messages. We re-organized all resources to ease access and sharing. See the introduction and index or go directly to view the menu of graphics. Please share your plans with us, and we may feature you in a press release or follow-up story! Follow @theAMIBA on Twitter for updates.
Almost every day, most of us exchange pieces of paper with other people to buy or sell products or services. So what better place to insert messages about the importance of doing business locally at a cost of nearly zero per impression? Learn more about our latest outreach tools (2 designs).
Several AMIBA affiliates already have employed cash mobs in their communities and, since they’re a perfect event to combine with stamped currency, we compiled insights and recommendations gained from previous mobbers to help you evaluate or execute the idea.
Go Local, Grow Local Conference Wrap-Up, Plus Two Notable Events This Month
As always, it was great to gather with IBA leaders across the country to learn from each other, get inspiration and make personal connections. We thank the generous sponsors, speakers, participants and hosts who made it a fun and valuable experience! Thanks also to Nearby Registry and BALLE for their scholarship contributions.
Becky McCray generously provides additional resources of her own and audio from one popular session here. Lastly, see many of the people who brought their great energy to the gathering in our Facebook photo gallery.
Two great gatherings you may want to check out in June occur on opposite coasts this month. The New Economy Coalition’s Commonbound conference kicks off in Boston on June 6, and AMIBA’s Joe Grafton is among the featured speakers. Then BALLE’s popular Prosperity for All conference kicks off on June 11 in Oakland. Join one if you can!
News from Local Affiliates
Keep It Querque (Albuquerque, NM) has surpassed its goal in a current crowdfunding effort to enable more than 100,000 copies of its directory to be circulated directly to local residents.
Making Going Local Easy
With thousands of visitors descending upon Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville IBA became the latest IBA to release a mobile search app, which allows users to easily locate more than 600 LIBA member businesses and geo-locates the users’ distance from them. Meanwhile, Independent We Stand recently launched an app to help you seek out indies anywhere you go in the U.S.
The Austin IBA held their first annual Armadillo Awards — their independent business awards — at the end of April. AIBA Director, Rebecca Melancon noted, Something happened that [awards] night that I had not even considered. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring and expression of the sense of community. I received many comments about how great it was to bring everyone together for the evening and for younger businesses to mingle with Austin’s icons. I was also humbled by comments about how much it means to be recognized. In the hustle and bustle of event details, schedules and materials, I didn’t even contemplate the greater sense of community.
Local First Milwaukee is engaging home-based businesses as well as storefronts. To that end, their member directory now includes a “Shop from Home” category that captures their local e-commerce specialists.
Stay Local!, the New Orleans IBA, tells the story of how a local entrepreneur helped Mardi Gras deepen its roots by sourcing more of the beaded necklaces, voodoo dolls, and other giveaways locally — it’s an instructive economic development story.
Also, Stay Local! was spotlighted in the news as Magazine Street grapples with the threat of chains (which shunned the city for years as it struggled to recover from Hurricane Katrina), now trying to ride on successful indies’ coattails and displacing local businesses while driving up commercial rents.
AMIBA Welcomes New Affiliates & Supporters
New premier business member
Citizens Bank of Edmond (OK)
Transitions at AMIBA
We’re thrilled to welcome Lily Brislen and Nicole Kelly to the AMIBA board, and we offer our heart-felt thanks to outgoing members Carla Jimenez and Steve Bercu for many years of stellar service.
Is Amazon.com Aiming to Dominate Wholesaling, Too?
Amazon has generated much anger recently for its attack on Hachette, the book publisher that’s refused Amazon’s demands for ever-greater discounts. But the company’s wholesale ambitions are another area of big concern. We’ve covered it all in this collection of the best media coverage of Amazon.
Great News on Indie Booksellers & Brewers!
For the fifth straight year, the American Booksellers Association reports more independent retail members. Their 1,664 members (up 32 from 2013) operate more than 2,000 U.S. storefronts — the greatest number since 2005.
Meanwhile, craft brewers grew their market share to 7.8 percent of the total U.S. beer market volume last year, up from 6.5 percent.
The Interconnectedness of a Localized Economy
Russ Lawrence of Hamilton, MT lays out a great case for mutual support among local businesses.
What Farm-to-Table Got Wrong
An insightful op-ed (free reg. required) from the New York Times on the need to understand farms better and consume a wide range of products to enable sustainable family farms.
Observations from a Tipless Restaurant (part 1 of 2).
Food Hubs: Small-farm aggregators scale up with larger buyers A new resource from the National Good Food Network.
The Small Business Credit Crunch
Stacy Mitchell produced this report for Advocates for Independent Business.
Think Locally, Act Locally: Building a Robust Entrepreneurial Ecosystem A useful new report from the Kauffman Foundation.
Democratic Wealth: Building a Citizens’ Economy A new free e-book from the United Kingdom
Measuring Sprawl, a new report from Smart Growth America, contains many rankings of U.S. communities as well as good information about their infrastructure costs. On a related note, Stacy Mitchell explains How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs.
Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale The latest resource from the Democracy Collaborative.
For more localization and independent business news as it happens, follow @theAMIBA on Twitter.