Strength in Numbers, June-July 2016

Strength in Numbers, June-July 2016

Connect with Your Neighbors and Catalyze Local Action!

Every year we receive hundreds of contacts — including many beyond North America — inquiring about local organizing to support independent businesses. We just plotted them all on this map so you can see if there are people near you who share your interest. If you’d like to connect with a contact mapped, just email us a quick note of your interest and we’ll do our best to connect you with whatever contact information we have! (Click image to open interactive map)


Success Stories and Reasons for Hope!

North Dakota Citizens Uphold Ban on Corporate Farm Ownership by 3:1 Margin, rejecting a bid by agribusiness giants to overturn a nearly century-old law protecting real farmers. North Dakota has many of the most pro-local business policies in the nation. For example, it operates the nation’s only publicly-owned bank, and only registered pharmacists may own and operate pharmacies within the state.

Chicago Leads Charge Against Predatory Small Business Lending
The story shows why AMIBA and many other organizations have endorsed a Small Business Borrowers Bill of Rights.

A Decade After The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Author Michael Pollan Sees Signs of Hope for a Better Food System

Class-Action Suit Helps Businesses Victimized by Price-Fixing
In recent months, the Cohen Milstein law firm (an AMIBA sponsor) negotiated settlements totaling just under $1 billion on behalf of businesses that were victims of price-fixing among a handful of corporations. Dow Chemical, BASF and others conspired to fix prices on urethane and other materials used by many manufacturers to produce common household products, from mattress foam to carpet cushions.

AMIBA was the named party in a friend-of-the-court brief in the case (we received no part of the award) prior to settlements being reached, arguing that class-action status is necessary for smaller businesses to have a chance at gaining justice when harmed by huge corporations.

Death of Local Grocers Leaves Rural MN Communities Without Options, but new co-ops like Wirth in Minneapolis may change the story. In related news: America’s Food Deserts Need Community Solutions, Not Big Box Stores

Putting Teeth Back into The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
Bank mergers are far too common these days, but offer a prime opportunity to make sure they are accountable to the communities they serve.

Why I’m Fighting Foreign Garlic Growers

But We’re Not There Yet…

walmartWhy the Racial Gap in Business Ownership Costs the U.S. Billions. And a black entrepreneur explains one disturbing impact of customer prejudices.

A Case Study from Brooklyn: Why Regulations Should be Crafted with Input from Small Business Advocates

Walmart: Residents Pay the Price for Thousands of Police Calls.

How the Rise of Finance has Warped Our Values and Economy

Seller Beware — Create a Best-seller on Amazon and AMZ May Usurp Your Niche

News from AMIBA Affiliates

Welcome to the newest team member, Local First Arkansas, based in Little Rock. Connect with LFA, or any other AMIBA affiliate, on social media here.

Welcome to new business member Boyd Law Orange County (CA)

MetroIBA Goes beyond “Buy Local” Work to Shape Pro-Indie Policy

Portland Buy Local Keeps the Soul in One of New England’s Great Cities

coconutsThink Local Palm Beach County (FL) added local flair to their Independents Week celebration with a scavenger hunt using painted coconuts, which were placed at member businesses. Participants gain entry to a prize drawing by visiting member businesses, taking a selfie with a found coconut, posting it to social media, and tagging the member business.

Local First Utah’s Independents Week campaign success already has included gaining proclamations from at least 12 city governments around the state! While some Independents Week initiatives take weeks of lead time, this is one idea you may be able to execute quickly. See the Indie Week toolbox!

Local First Lexington recognizes it often can provide a service to members just by bringing them together to connect in an environment that doesn’t involve card-pushing or an agenda created by others. They invite members to get acquainted with staff and each other for coffee and even cover the first $5 of the tab for members. Just coffee, conversation, and relationship-building.

StayLocal! hosted NOLA Know-How, a showcase event for business-to-business (B2B) companies on June 16. The event included local business thought leaders presenting on the theme “Survival of the Fittest” — how they adapted to changing markets, consumer landscapes, and more in New Orleans and beyond. The event also included a resource fair.

The talks and resource fair are the culmination of StayLocal’s Source NOLA B2B initiative, a summer-long campaign encouraging businesses to switch to a local service provider in some area of their business.

MetroIBA is co-sponsoring a series of workshops by the City of St. Paul’s “Open for Business” Initiative, intended to help small business owners open and grow businesses in the city. June 2 marked the kick-off event.

MetroIBA’s policy committee’s work was rewarded with the Minnesota Legislature’s passage of several bills committee members lobbied for during the most recent session.

This August, Monadnock Buy Local is joining with 50 partners throughout the state to highlight New Hampshire Eat Local Month — a celebration of NH farmers and producers, and their delicious creations.

Tools and Tips

Come_In_Were_Local-inuseBulk Pricing on Educational Outreach Tools
We responded to requests from several businesses & groups by publishing a wholesale price list for the popular new “Love Local” decals, as well as long-time favorites like “Come In, We’re Local!” decals, “Why Buy Local?” posters and other popular materials. See them all!

Good Jobs First released the latest version of their corporate subsidy tracker.

27 Strategies for Raising Business Capital
While written with Washington State in mind, this guide is a great resource for any entrepreneur needing capital.

Spurring Rural Entrepreneurship: 8 Innovative Business Models That Don’t Break The Bank

3 Reasons for Small Town Businesses to Be Open Evenings and Weekends…And 11 Ideas to Help You Do It Profitably

AMIBA is Hiring!

(and seeking fall interns)

New Independents Week Graphics

See the Independents Week overview and index of resources or go straight to our library of free customizable graphics. We’ll customize any graphics for free for AMIBA affiliates or business members (nominal cost to others).

If you generate Independents Week media coverage or stage an event you’d like us to share, please tell us!


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