The cover story of the latest Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports on the rapid growth of funeral home chain Service Corporation International (SCI). BusinessWeek’s research on costs showed the chain’s growth through acquisitions is occurring despite SCI charging an average of 46% more for services than independent funeral homes.
It’s more good data to help you debunk the myth that chains’ economies of scale translate to better deals for consumers.
Independent Trade Groups Unite
AMIBA has joined with six other organizations to launch the Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), a new coalition of independent trade associations and allied groups dedicated to helping local independent businesses thrive. The co-founders are the American Booksellers Association, AMIBA, the National Bicycle Dealers Association, the Professional Association of Innkeepers, and Record Store Day, with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance helping facilitate the coalition.
AIB will provide a structure for its member organizations to exchange information about successful programs that deliver value for their members, generate new ideas to support independent businesses, and work together to advocate shared public policy goals. If you’re part of an independent trade association that may benefit from sharing with peer groups and finding allies to address policy concerns, contact us to learn more.
Local Alliance Moves Big Money: $1.25 Million
Go Local Sonoma County Cooperative received a big payoff recently for its four years of work to shift more deposits and loans to locally-owned financial institutions. The City of Santa Rosa is moving $1.25 million in deposits to five local businesses ($250,000 each): Community First Credit Union, First Community Bank, Redwood Credit Union, Sonoma County Grange Credit Union and Summit State Bank.
Redwood Credit Union and Summit State Bank are top sponsors of Go Local, which markets businesses and non-profits countywide. The City of Santa Rosa also is a member!
AMIBA’s biennial Go Local, Grow Local conference comes to Minneapolis May 8-11, 2014, and we want to ensure it fulfills the wishes of participants. Help us make it a great experience for you and your team by indicating your interest in proposed topics and tell us what you’d like added via this brief survey. Thanks!
24 Ways to Invest Locally
While banking locally is a critical contributor to a thriving local economy, many residents also have substantial investments going to publicly-traded corporations. Shifting even a small portion of those investments to your own community would create huge opportunities for new and existing entrepreneurs. Michael Shuman offers this menu of options to consider for helping localize investment.
Shuman also led our October 29 webinar on driving local investment. A recording will be posted next week and announced via our social media networks (and Nov. newsletter).
Funding for Community Trainings Extended into 2014
AMIBA’s trainings provide inspiration and direct organizing help for both new and well-established pro-local campaigns — often saving you months of time and substantial funds. We’re excited to announce American Express OPEN has renewed its support for these community events, allowing us to extend the sponsorship opportunity (reducing hosts’ costs by up to 65%) through at least May of 2014. Start here to learn more or contact us via email to inquire about dates.
Keep Saint Petersburg Local produced a 2014 calendar, “The Shop Dogs of KSPL” featuring the familiar, furry faces found at member businesses. The calendar also includes listings of pet products and services offered by member businesses. A portion of sales will be donated to Pet Pal Animal Shelter, a non-profit member.
New or Updated Resources for AMIBA Affiliates
These require member log-in to access. Thanks to a member suggestion, we’ve added a chronological index of new and updated materials so you can periodically see what additions are relevant to you.
New: Materials from Austin IBA’s Local Business Conference
Updated: IBA Start-Up Checklist
Redesigned: bag-stuffer templates
New: October conference call recording: How IBAs are engaging in neighborhood-based economic development, including economically-challenged areas.
Welcome New AMIBA Affiliates
Buy Local Scarborough, Scarborough, ME
Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Princeton, NJ
New Business Member
Scott Community Building and Development, LLC, Humble, TX
Congratulations to Monadnock Buy Local (Southwestern NH), the latest affiliate to gain 501c6 tax-exempt status through AMIBA’s 501c6 Group Exemption Program. This affiliation benefit alone saves most groups $850 or more. See why joining AMIBA is a smart choice for any pro-local business group or how your business can join individually.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy Local with Linked Sources
We recently added citations and links to our ever-popular collection of top reasons to choose local and independent.
When Is the Best Time for Your Social Media Posts?
While there’s no pat answer, this article offers useful insights.
Major Facebook Update May Affect You
Facebook image sizes, traffic reports and other features recently underwent major changes you should learn about if you run a business or organizational page. Go to article.
Should Other States Follow North Dakota and Form State Banks?
The New York Times compiled this interesting collection of perspectives.
State Helps with In-State Sourcing
The State of Minnesota just launched an online database to make sourcing in-state easy for businesses and individuals.
Guide to Effective Buy Local Campaigns Available as Free PDF
We fulfilled more than 1000 requests for this primer during October. See why!
Consider employing tools and publicity available through national campaigns to boost your pro-local messaging for the holidays. For example, Small Business Saturday promotes Nov. 30th as the day to “shop small” at local independents, and Shift Your Shopping encourages folks to choose local and independent throughout the holiday season. Each campaign has graphics and suggested activities you can use to take advantage of national awareness for these promotions.
For those who missed this week’s Shift Your Shopping (SYS) webinar with our partners at BALLE, a recording will be posted and announced through both groups’ social media networks (see below) shortly. The SYS website will be featuring the stories of local groups using the “Shift” theme in their communities (not limited to AMIBA affiliates). Send your reports to [email protected]
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