Strength in Numbers, October 2012

Strength in Numbers, October 2012

ogden-restaurant-study-2012Multiple New Studies Reinforce the Economic Power of “Going Local”

Las Vegas First, Local First Utah, Shop Local Raleigh and the Louisville IBA are among the local groups that commissioned studies by Civic Economics this year in partnership with the American Booksellers Association.

The full results are in, both reinforcing and adding useful new detail to the body of research making the case for choosing local and independent. Averaged across the 10 communities in the retail studies, spending at indie retailers generates 3.7 times more direct local economic benefit than spending at chains.

Additionally, five of the studies evaluated restaurant spending and found indie restaurants generated an average of 2.15 times more direct local economic return Read the full story and see detailed graphs.

News Briefs and New Resources

Smart “Moves”
The U. of Chicago Class of 2012’s gift truly invested in the community. Students convinced the school to shift $1 million in deposits to four community-based banks. Interested in this idea? Check out tools available from the Endowment Ethics Coalition.

The State of Massachusetts estimates shifting $278 million in public funds to local banks led to 2,500 new small business loans. Why did their move make such a difference? While small & midsized banks hold 21% of bank assets, they provide 54% of small business loans.

Gift More Thoughtfully - 1 Empty OrnamentFree Holiday Outreach Tools
The newest free ad template from AMIBA (above) provides space to let you drop your logo and url into the large ornament. If you lack a dedicated graphic designer, we’ll customize it for you at nominal cost (free for affiliates), including your choice of shape and color schemes. Details here.

Have an idea for an ad, poster or other item you’d like to see turned into reality? Tell us! If we like it enough to design, we’ll provide you a customized version at no cost. Also see our existing holiday ad template and recently-added website/email “ads” based on our popular poster series — all free!

Why Small Businesses Matter
Just one great example from California.

Bumper Stickers Redesigned and Back in Stock!

Put-Your-$-Where-Your-House-Is-300pdi-10x3inchesWhen we sold out of our popular “Put Your Money Where Your House Is!” stickers, we tapped the “group wisdom” of our social media fans to improve on the original and produced a more visually compelling version (big thanks to those who voted!). We know these will sell fast, so get ’em now and watch the pro-indie message travel through your community! (Free to affiliates–contact us for details.)

We also added five stickers to the “Action Pack,” making it an even greater value.

Action from AMIBA Affiliates

ashevillecardimageAsheville Grown’s (NC) Go Local Card, a loyalty program for indie businesses that also raises funds for schools through partnership with the Asheville City Schools Foundation, engaged 120 member businesses in its first year and raised more than $10,000. Participation has doubled to start year two, and the indie weekly Mountain Express is distributing 40,000 copies of the card program directory.

Holiday Promo Idea from the Twin Cities
Last year, MetroIBA requested gift ideas ranging from $25 – $200 from member businesses, a photo of the gift, description, and price to create a Holiday Buy Local Gift Guide hosted on their website. Its success sparked plans for further development this year.

Food Mob
The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts transformed Boston into the nation’s largest local & sustainable food hub for a day and generated an estimated 40,000 festival goers to the Boston Sustainable Food Festival — a record for an event by an AMIBA affiliate.

Underwriting Available for 2013 Presentations and Trainings

American Express OPENAfter a busy schedule of events for groups coast to coast this fall, we’ll wind down with presentations and workshops for Summit IBA in Colorado Nov. 13, Flagstaff IBA in Arizona November 14 and the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit Nov 26-28.

Thanks to continued underwriting from American Express OPEN, more communities than ever (and that’s a lot) will be able to host an AMIBA presentation or training to help local independents thrive in the first four months of 2013.

Please inquire now if you’d like information on available dates from January – May 2013, as dates and sponsorship funding are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Give your campaign or local alliance a big boost while this opportunity lasts!
Update on “Buy Local” Campaign Primer
The last bulk mailing of 2012 to all who requested a free copy of Building “Buy Local” Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending occurred last week, but we will continue to offer a free copy with any merchandise order.

Please contact us for bulk quantities to distribute at events or to others in your community (free to affiliates, at-cost for others).

Welcome New Members of the AMIBA Team!


New Affiliates
* Black Mountain Arts & Restaurants, Black Mountain, NC
Sutton Community Development Corporation, Sutton, WV
Shop Sandwich First, Sandwich, MA
Seacoast Local, serving Southeast NH and Kittery, ME

New Business Members
Kitchen Outfitters, Acton, MA
Newsweb Corporation, Chicago, IL
The Alley Stores Chicago, IL

(We recently created memberships for individual businesses. See the other initial business members and AMIBA supporters).

jennifer-rubensteinAnd AMIBA’s Newest Board Member
Those who attended our Go Local, Grow Local conference in Louisville this year know why we’re excited to bring Jennifer Rubenstein’s energy and abilities to the board. Since joining the Louisville Independent Business Alliance in 2008 and becoming the director in 2011, Jennifer has helped LIBA grow from 60 to more than 470 business members and become a powerful ally for local entrepreneurs. Learn more about Jennifer and the rest of AMIBA’s leadership here.

Get Ready for Shift Your Shopping and Small Business Saturday

Shift Your Shopping 2012 Launches November 3
After generating more than 160 organizational supporters and plenty of pro-local buzz in its inaugural year, Shift Your Shopping prepares for even greater success in 2012. Visit the site to see existing tools and look for new items to be added weekly. To lend your ideas and energy to this totally volunteer and collaborative effort, email [email protected]


Small Business Saturday is a great complement to season-long campaigns, providing a toolkit of materials, huge media presence and direct incentives for shoppers to “shop small” at your local businesses on November 24. See the SBS Facebook page to learn more and get updates.

Also, don’t miss Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 10!

Rather than run simultaneously with so many strong holiday-themed campaigns, we decided not to promote America/Canada Unchained nationally this season, but you still are welcome to use the free tools we’ve developed while we decide whether/when to schedule an Unchained! event in 2013. Please contact us if you have ideas to share.

ShiftYourShoppingweb shopsmall

Stay Informed Throughout the Month
We’ll be posting frequent news and a flow of new tools and ideas during the holiday season. “Liking” and subscribing to our Facebook page feed and/or following us on Twitter is the best way to get the latest news and useful content beyond what we can fit in the monthly newsletter.

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