Strength in Numbers, May 2018

Strength in Numbers, May 2018

Corporate Subsidies Worsen Inequality

A new report from Governing documents the folly of cities subsidizing corporations that compete against locals and confirms the point we consistently encourage local business coalitions to stress: big businesses create few lucrative positions and many low-wage ones, rather than primarily middle-class wages. Governing reports, “disparities in wages between high-skill jobs and other positions within a company’s workforce expand as the size of the employer increases.”

Denver Taquerias Join Forces to Gain New Customers While Serving Local Charities

For $20, Denverites can buy a “Passport” that provides two-for-one tacos at each of 21 restaurants and food trucks with at least $15 from each Passport sale supporting three wholly appropriate local charities.

New Affiliate Benefit: Website Audit

We’re using AMIBA’s newly increased capacity to add benefits for local business organizations! This new free service for AMIBA affiliates will provide an understanding of simple ways to improve your website appearance, performance, and search results. Contact Janna [at] to schedule your audit or learn more about joining AMIBA to take advantage of our great benefits.

New Independents Week Material!

Independents Week (July 1st through 7th) is a great opportunity to call attention to your local independent businesses. AMIBA makes seizing this opportunity easy by providing a large library of local examples including activity templates, web graphics (now including Instagram), proclamations (with newly added guidance) and posters. Start here!

News from Local Affiliates

Affiliate Profile 

Find out more about the West Berkeley Design Loop – a unique trade-focused group that has united local merchants, designers, consultants, and builders to give independent businesses a competitive edge.

Using Elections to Advance Independent Business Concerns

While many local business advocacy groups abstain from taking stands either for or against political candidates, we suggest every group engage in their local and state election process to amplify their issues and promote pro-local business policy.

Current example: Rather than just chiming in from the sidelines, Think Local First DC is hosting City Council candidate forums focusing largely on local business policy. For more information see our suggestions and examples.

“Buy Local Fair” Draws Big Crowds and Media for LIBA

The Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) hosted the 10th Annual Buy Local Fair on May 20th, drawing more than 8,000 visitors and 200 booths from a variety of local businesses. The Fair provides a venue that fosters cooperation, cross-pollination and strength in numbers for locally-owned, independent entities. The event included a “Kidpreneur Marketplace” comprised of ten mini-businesses run by kids age 12 and under.

In Brief

Monopolies Can Be Deadly
Corporate consolidation displacing broad competition not only invites price-gouging, but, as in the case of epinephrine auto-injectors (best known by the brand EpiPen), it also can endanger lives. Diversity creates strength; monoculture yields fragility.

Native Entrepreneurship
The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma has developed many local food initiatives and opened the first USDA-inspected meat processing plant on tribal land. Now it’s opening a tribal-owned microbrewery.

Attn. Media: Global Corporations and Small Businesses Have Different Interests 
The US Supreme Court ruled this week that workers claiming wage theft were unable to pursue class-action lawsuits due to “voluntary” arbitration agreements. While much of the media framed the ruling as “pro-business,” we’re dubious. Expanding the power of corporations to thwart class actions likely will harm small businesses that often have no other viable recourse against corporate abuse.

Beyond Farmers Markets
The Federal Farm Bill expires in September 2018, and Congress is busy writing its replacement. Several key provisions that support family farmers, local food programs and more are at risk. Our friends at the Center for Rural Affairs and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition are a couple of great resources to learn the issues and action opportunities.

Seeding Entrepreneurship with Street Vendor-Friendly Rules
Los Angeles is the latest city to recognize the value of making it easier for new entrepreneurs to get started.

Breaking up Facebook
Open Markets Institute staff offer concrete steps on how to deal with Facebook’s dangerous power.



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