Indie Business News
In its first year of publication, more than 16,000 people requested or picked up a copy of our primer, “Building Buy Local Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending.” Full of advice and instruction backed by more than a decade of experience, it’s recognized as the definitive starter resource for business owners, organizations and communities seeking to lead people to local independent businesses for more of their dining, shopping and services.
On Monday, we’ll begin offering the publication in pdf format free upon request! You can submit your request now — just email us with the subject “buy local primer” and mention: 1) Where you are, and 2) Your interest (e.g sharing with members of your trade association, starting a campaign within an existing group, start a new group, etc.).
2014 Go Local, Grow Local Conference Is May 8-11 in the Twin Cities
We’re excited to start building the content of next year’s conference, hosted by Metro IBA in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Nearly every session at our biennial conference is geared to help bolster your impact and increase your organizational capacity and, while costs are not yet determined, we urge you to plan ahead and include costs of travel and attendance in your organization’s 2014 budget. We keep costs minimal and expect early registration will be a maximum of $350 for affiliates/ $450 for non-affiliates, including most meals (not lodging) — but maybe less.
We welcome your requests or proposals for workshops or discussions as we plan. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities will be published in October, but feel free to inquire if you’d like to become the first sponsor announced!
World’s Largest Pro-Local Ad?
The Asheville Grown Business Alliance partnered with regional charity Eliada to render their “Love Asheville” logo with a “Give Local” message in a massive 12-acre corn maze! Eliada’s annual maze draws 20,000 visitors from around the region, and their creative collaboration generated loads of media coverage as well. “Going local is also about giving local and investing in our children because they are the future of our community,” said AGBA director Franzi Charen.
Click the image to see the impressive scene at large scale.
New Tool to Help Your Community Tap the Power of Local Institutions’ Assets
The Anchor Dashboard identifies 12 areas where community-rooted “anchor institutions” like schools, hospitals and colleges can impact positively. It also provides tools to quantify institutions’ local impacts. Take a look and explore ways to localize the spending of these entities in your area!
Webinar: Mobilizing Local Businesses for Policy Change
Local business coalitions are continually improving their work to increase public awareness and shift more spending to independent businesses, but we can’t reverse larger destructive trends through public education alone. We also need to transform the policies that are undermining local enterprises and driving centralization.
This interactive webinar with Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance will present a framework for building pro-community, pro-local business policy at the local, state, and federal levels. She will lead participants in a conversation about creating a compelling narrative for policy change, what our agenda should be, and what initial victories we can achieve. Note: this webinar was postponed due to illness and will be rescheduled.
Anatomy of a Logo Design Process
The firm that designed Wyandotte Independent Business Alliance’s logo wrote up an interesting account of the design and communication process.
Answers to the Top Ten E-mail Marketing Questions
Good advice from MadMimi (our newsletter delivery service and an AMIBA sponsor).
Sales Tax Fairness May Soon Be Debated in House
Legislation to close the loophole for interstate sales passed the U.S. Senate easily in the spring, but has gone nowhere in the House. Now, House Republicans have released their “principles for reform” that may permit debate to proceed. If you have opinions to express on the topic, now is the time to contact the Representative for your district. For background, see our web page on sales tax reform.
Taking the “Buy Local” Message on the Road
Nova Scotia just unveiled this nifty “Buy Local” license plate. Please tell us if you know another province/state doing this or if you’d like to explore creating this option in yours.
Come Meet AMIBA Principals on the Road + Last Call for Sponsored Community Trainings in 2013
AMIBA’s Jeff Milchen and Joe Grafton will be offering community presentations and workshops in Ontario, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the coming weeks. Please join us if there’s an event near you (most are free and open to the public).
We’re now scheduling November events and have potential dates in most states. This is the final chance during 2013 to host your own community event using underwriting from American Express OPEN. Contact us via email to inquire.
News from AMIBA Affiliates
Keep Saint Petersburg Local hosted their first candidate forum for mayor and city council candidates on September 17, moderated by an editor of the area’s independent weekly paper. This is a great way to ensure the concerns of local entrepreneurs are addressed, build relationships with incoming officials, and we’ll gladly help anyone considering hosting one. We wish we could attend KSPL’s November member get-together, which will be at a member go-kart racing facility where they’ll race and feast on local food truck fare.
The Austin Independent Business Alliance will host the First Annual Local Business Conference in Austin, TX on October 10, 2013. Building on AIBA’s Local Business Manifesto presented to the City of Austin in April 2012 ], the conference will engage local business owners to take a collective leadership role in the future of Austin’s local business economy. This half-day event will call on the wisdom, experience and ideas of more than fifty local business owners to create a detailed plan for improving the climate for local business in Austin. The plan will be organized by priority as determined by the conference participants.
Mile High Business Alliance (Denver), will host a Local Capital Summit on Oct. 4, featuring a full day of sessions on vital business topics for finding and connecting to local resources. These include: Creating Opportunities for Latino Communities, Financial Planning for Small Businesses and much more. Get the details here.
Buy Local Lynchburg (VA) generated some great local publicity and education on the benefits of going local with its director, Laurie Galluscio, featured as the “leader of the month” in Lynchburg Business.
Local First Utah gave presentations at both the Utah Small Business Summit and the Utah League of Cities & Towns Conference in early September.
Local First Milwaukee is planning to make its annual Local Gift Fair the best yet. If your area hasn’t yet done this, consider such an event to engage the local artisan community as part of your “buy local” campaign! We’ll be happy to help you.
Dane Buy Local, Madison, WI
Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, Orange, TX
Mason Area Independent Business Alliance, Mason, MI (site coming soon)
Northeastern Retail Lumber Association, Rensselaer, NY (an independent trade association)
Gear Up for Holiday Campaigns
Shift Your Shopping 2013
We’re now part of the team planning the 2013 Shift Your Shopping campaign and welcome all pro-indie business groups and trade associations to partner in this collaborative effort (partners will receive co-branding and steering committee position). Contact us to join the planning team! This volunteer-driven effort seeks two sponsors for 2013 to advance the initiative.
Small Business Saturday Toolkit
For the 4th annual Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), American Express is offering a package of materials and support. Materials include: balloons, banners and tote bags, along with tools and tips to help generate attention in your area. The kit will be sent free to any business or organization submitting a proposed activity and committing to engage 10 other businesses.
The offer is available until October 15. You can request your free kit via this online form.
Through October we’re offering a special package for business owners: 25 “Put Your Money Where Your House Is” bumper stickers, two “Come In We’re local” window decals and two hard copies of our buy local campaign primer — all for $20, including Priority Mail shipping! (U.S. only).
See these and many more ready-to-use materials for spreading the pro-local message.
New Resources for AMIBA Members and Affiliates
These require member log-in to access.
- Short-term, Easy Fundraising Ideas for IBAs
- A recording and accompanying slides from August’s call on loyalty card programs.
- New samples added to member recruitment brochures
Stay Informed and Connected!
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