American Independent Business Alliance

Strength in Numbers, June 2015

Strength in Numbers, June 2015

Half of US States Now Enable Securities Crowdfunding
Local Business investment platform MNvest becomes more than an option for Minnesotans wanting to invest their money — it becomes state law! Minnesota became the 25th state to enact such legislation. Kudos to Twin Cities affiliate MetroIBA for helping make it happen.

In related news, Forbes reports crowdfunding is on track to surpass venture capital to expand businesses by 2016. Community Builders has a great resource to learn more: Get off the Ground with Community Investing.

Walmart Tax Dodges Exposed
Walmart reports $1.3 billion in profits in Luxembourg…where it has zero stores. It’s part of a global scheme to falsely attribute sales to tax havens. Meanwhile in communities, Walmart Inc. is among many big box chains shifting their taxes onto local residents and businesses, as Olivia LaVecchia reports.

Make Your Business the Easiest to Find Online
If you’re a business person seeking to optimize your local search engine presence, here’s the 2015 version of an excellent free guide.

Elysian label update by AMIBA

Elysian label update by AMIBA

Selling Out?
The rise of craft brewing is a great success story, but will “craft beer” mean anything if small breweries are acquired by global corporations? That’s a concern for many as this report from Bloomberg notes. The article begins by noting Elysian, a Washington brewer that proclaimed “Corporate beer still sucks” on their Loser Ale labels, sold out to Anheuser-Busch/InBev.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s Left Hand Brewery shows a better way for owners looking to transition.

Iowa Town Moves to Make Business Incentives Dependent on Local Ownership

Elections, Not Auctions
AMIBA joined with Free Speech for People and the American Sustainable Business Council to submit a brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend state limits on the sums of money that can be invested in politicians (our home state of Montana is the site of the dispute). We discuss why election integrity is a crucial issue for small business here.

Gain 501c6 Status Without the $850 IRS Filing Fee

A growing number of AMIBA affiliates enjoy tax-exempt 501c6 status through AMIBA’s Group Exemption Program. This program allows our affiliates desiring this important status to gain it by applying to AMIBA instead of the IRS — with a much quicker turn-around and big cost savings. See “Why Choose 501c6?” or learn more about AMIBA’s Group Exemption benefit — one of many valuable benefits local organizations can gain by affiliating with AMIBA.

Note: if you’re aiming to raise some of your funding from individuals or foundations, learn about our fiscal sponsorship program benefit.

Indie-week-twitter-QDouglas

Click image to see our menu of free Independents Week graphics

News from AMIBA Affiliates

The Beaches Small Business Initiative on Florida’s SE coast arranged with the Town of Jupiter to distribute their group’s brochure with every new business tax license application.

With help from the Office of Economic Development and Denver Environmental Health, the Mile High Business Alliance (CO) compiled a directory to local distributors, growers and other food producers. The new resource makes it easy for local restaurants, hotels and others to source locally-grown food in several categories, including prepared goods.

Dane Buy Local (WI) has dozens of member businesses engaged in their Independents Week activities.

Buy Vancouver USA (WA) received a grant from Vancouver’s Downtown Assn. to help them produce Independents Week posters for display in independent businesses during the week. The group also secured a proclamation from the mayor.

Local First Utah, a state-wide pro-local organization, secured Independents Week proclamations from Governor Gary Herbert and the mayors of at least 11 communities.

Monadnock Buy Local (NH) also gained a mayoral proclamation to support their Independent Week activities.

Syracuse Woman profiled Chris Fowler & the fine work of Syracuse First to localize Upstate NY — made more notable by the fact that Chris is a man!

Shop Local Raleigh counts among their newest members the Carolina Railhawks professional soccer team.

Congratulations to Northboro Local First, the latest affiliate to gain 501c6 tax-exempt status through AMIBA’s Group Exemption Program.

Welcome to the Newest Affiliates!

Columbia County, Oregon
Zumbrota Independent Business Alliance, Minnesota

Summer Reading Ideasshuman-thomas-books

Two new books are at the top of our reading list (we aim to provide reviews next month). The Local Economy Solution is the latest from Michael Shuman, who’s authored several important books on localization and is among the most popular speakers in the realm (his talk was a highlight of AMIBA’s 2014 conference). His latest work explores the failure of traditional economic development and better alternatives for communities, with a focus on “pollinator” businesses. Learn more on IndieBound.

The Customer Trap cautions manufacturers that selling through giant retailers like Amazon or national chains is a dangerous path that can undermine brand value and profits. Authors Andrew Thomas and Timothy Wilkinson provide compelling case studies demonstrating that slow growth through many small partners is a more likely path to business prosperity.

Welcome AMIBA’s Newest Board Member!

Colin-Murray-headshotColin Murray is Executive Director of Dane Buy Local in Madison Wisconsin, a position he’s held since February 2013.

Colin brings 15 years of experience in locally-focused economic development. He has been involved with DBL from its inception in 2004 and served as President from 2010-2013. During that time he oversaw the organization grow from 450 to 700 member businesses (now fast approaching 800)!

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