More than 2400 people have contacted AMIBA seeking information on organizing to support independent businesses and healthy communities or to request our primer on building effective buy local campaigns. We’re now ready to facilitate introductions to help you connect with people who share such interest near you. If you’d like to see the contact map (with inquiries from across North America, as well as 30 other countries) or get connected in your area, see this page.
Our team can help you in person, too! We’re now scheduling community presentations and workshops for early 2016 to help ignite your organization or campaign. The Southeastern U.S. will be the first region covered. Thanks to renewed support from American Express OPEN, up to $1800 in underwriting is available for local trainings when scheduled 90 days or more in advance, so plan now! Learn more or tell us about your interests (we’ll plan subsequent tours based on early inquiries, so take a moment now if you’re curious, regardless of your location)
Holiday Campaigns Ramp Up
If you’ve procrastinated and seek easily-adapted articles, graphics, activities and other items to help local businesses and organizations effectively spread the pro local / independent business message during the holiday season, check out this growing library.
Small Business Saturday
The “Neighborhood Champion” program is back for 2015. Registrants will receive a free event kit containing Shop Small shopping bags, balloons, and other items to help you kick off your event, as well as activity guides. Register here. See also 10 Ways to Capitalize on Small Business Saturday.
Shift Your Shopping once again will provide a season-long opportunity to help spread the message that holiday shopping can be a personal, community-oriented and fun experience. The campaign launches next week and runs through the end of 2015. Small Biz Survival has begun a weekly series of blog posts with ideas on how to make the most of this campaign. If you’re part of a local business coalition, you can put your local business group on the map of endorsing organizations via this brief survey.
Public Education Goes to the Movies! (& Radio)
Deliver the “Go Local” message to a captive audience with a theater public service ad. Thanks to Stacey Velez, of Tower Theaters and Pioneer Valley Local First in Massachusetts for providing two examples — one for year-round use, the other for the Shift Your Shopping holiday campaign. See ad examples, native files, and specs for creating your own here!
And did you know we offer radio PSAs? Check them out here. You are welcome to send these to local stations for potential broadcast, steal the scripts for your own PSA, or contact us for assistance.
Six Strategies for Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Locavesting reports on valuable findings by the Kauffman Foundation.
New Study Shows Large Corporations Dominate State Economic Development Incentives
Good Jobs First recently published these important findings. Do you know what your public officials are doing in the name of economic development?
In related news, “Wisconsin gives millions to Kohl’s, receives fraction of promised benefit.“
NLRB: Parent Corporations Now May Be Held Jointly Responsible for Workers at Local Outlets. The ruling represents a setback for chains reliant on the franchise model.
Palo Alto Limits Chain Stores
The City Council unanimously voted to regulate the kind of new chain stores that can open on California Avenue, the city’s hub of independent businesses. To their north, San Francisco is employing historic preservation as a means to prevent displacement of long-standing indie businesses.
A Path for Entrepreneurs, When a Start-Up Is Not the Goal
(free NY Times registration required)
5 Things to Know About Amazon Warehouses
As Amazon Corporation continues its building spree in order to increase delivery speeds, it’s important to know the large negative impacts accompanying their overwhelmingly low-wage jobs. This new fact sheet from Advocates for Independent Business provides a great overview.
For a curated collection of the best reporting on Amazon and educational graphics like this to educate your customers or community, click on the reindeer! (In response to a reader’s request, a banner version of this graphic will be offered in November.)
Leading by Example…
Enabling Microenterprise in Baltimore
Some Baltimore residents see “maker spaces” – populated by local independent businesses and start-ups – as one key to economic revitalization.
Fixing Food Deserts: Alabama joins a growing list of states promoting supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods. A revolving loan fund is key to this effort.
New Montana Law Drops Barriers to Home-Based Businesses
The measure should help many more small food producers start up or register to operate openly.
Don’t Fear Food Trucks – figure out how they can boost your existing local businesses!
…and Room for Improvement
The Bigs Arrive Only When It’s Easy
New Orleans grapples with how to handle the wave of chains now seeking to open NOLA outlets now that the heaviest lifting to rebuild the city post-Katrina has been done by locals.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Small ranchers and farmers seek to change federal slaughterhouse laws that favor agribiz giants at their expense. Farmers raising free-range chickens on a moderate scale also complain that overly-broad regulations are creating pointless obstacles.
The Dark Side of Organic Food’s Growth
Growing popularity has led most big box chains to stock organic products. But chain stores want the economies of scale that come from buying from a few large suppliers, not numerous small farmers. Modern Farmer reports on some of the problems accompanying organic’s growth.
New Member Resource: Ready-to-Use Surveys
Surveying members of local business organizations is an important means for learning how best to serve and engage those members, and something AMIBA can help you accomplish. Unlimited online surveying and a growing library of custom templates are a recently added benefit for affiliates (we’ll turn your questions into a ready-to-deploy form you can use on an unbranded page or embed in your website).
Current affiliates can (log in here) to see recent surveys created by Dane Buy Local and the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance. We’ll index the many templates we’ve designed next week. Learn more about benefits of AMIBA affiliation here.
Local Alliances in Action
Shop Local Raleigh explores creating specialty license plates
In NC it takes just 300 requests for the state to produce a specialized plate. In addition to building their brand, sponsoring organizations receive a portion of the revenue from plate sales. We offer a few quick tips for groups interested in this initiative.
Stay Local! (New Orleans) created a Member Guide in slide show form to orient new and existing members to the benefits they gain from their membership.
From now through Thanksgiving, we’ll include two of our popular “Put Your Money Where Your House Is” bumper stickers free with any $10 order of posters, buttons and other educational merchandise. Just enter octfreebie at checkout.
New Holiday-Themed Graphics to Boost Local Businesses
We’ll be offering holiday-themed versions of some of our most popular online/social media banners and graphics in early November. Follow us on Twitter or other SM channels linked below to get word when they’re available.