American Independent Business Alliance

Strength in Numbers, September 2014

Strength in Numbers, September 2014

AMIBA_posterconcepts-finalNew “Why Buy Local?” Posters!

We recently sold out of our popular poster series and gave it a makeover with more eye-catching design and improved messaging. These make it easy for you to spread the pro-indie message at low cost, but with a professional appearance. Click here to see all four new designs!

AMIBA affiliates & business members: please do not buy these! We’ll send you details on getting free copies next week (learn about member benefits here). Follow us on Twitter to learn about upcoming Spanish versions! Contact us about customizing posters with your group’s identity.

American Express OPEN Renews Underwriting for Community Trainings with AMIBA — Schedule Yours Now!

Support from American Express OPEN has enabled more than 35 communities to host presentations and trainings to launch or greatly enhance the impact of pro-local business organizations. We’re excited to announce OPEN has renewed this support, so we can again offer you the chance to host an event at greatly reduced cost. Don’t miss the opportunity — we’re now scheduling late October – November tours! Learn more or contact us via email to inquire about dates and costs.

“The AMIBA seminar did more than provide us with the structure our board was lacking, it also re-lit the fire to go out and make a difference!”
–Marci Wisman-Bennett, New Albany First

Indie News Highlights

“How to Grow Strong Independent Businesses and Vibrant Local Economies”

We’re excited to partner with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network to present this webinar on Oct. 7, that will offer an overview of the impact Independent Business Alliances can make in building stronger communities and helping independents thrive. Learn more or register here. It’s free for AMIBA and CCEDN members, $20 for others (AMIBA members, contact us to request your access code).

efairnessnow-8A Key Time to Speak Out for Sales Tax Fairness

This a key moment in the push to pass sales tax fairness legislation through Congress, so Advocates for Independent Business has launched a social media campaign to help personify the many small business owners who are harmed every day by exempting online mega-retailers from the tax collection duties physical stores must follow.

See this page for a collection of images you can easily share via social media to help spread the word. Be sure to tag your Representatives and Senators in social media posts and please speak directly to them as well — the American Booksellers Association has a great web page to make it easy. For more background information on why this is such a critical issue for storefront retailers, see our index of Sources on State Sales Tax and Reform of Internet Exemption.

What is wrong at the U.S. Small Business Administration?
The Washinton Post buried the lead, but gets at some key issues in this report. SBA loans to women have fallen from 40% to 16% of loan capital and loans to minority-owned firms dropped from 11% to just 3% of dollars. Meanwhile government contracts with global corporations have been categorized as “small business contracts.”

shopsmallwelcomematEnticing Community Newcomers to Buy Local
Chain stores are popular with recent movers because they save them the work of learning who offers what in your community. The good news is those tendencies can be overcome! See our new article with tips on how to reach a key audience with the pro-local business message.

(Positive) Signs of the Times
A restaurant group with 35 outlets insists, “We’re not a chain.

Slate offers insight into why indies are surviving Amazon, but chains are falling.

Not-So-Positive Sign: The Increasing Dominance of Older Firms
The Brooking Institution documents a concerning trend: New firm entry rates are falling and older firms (16+ years) are becoming more dominant.

The National Cooperative Grocers Association released a new report documenting the local social and economic benefits of food coops.

Depositors Reject Local Bank’s Wall Street Plans
Since 2000, Massachusetts has lost a quarter of its banks, but Beverly Bank’s customers thwarted plans by executives to turn their bank into a traded corporation.

Gear Up for Holiday Campaigns!

Small Business Saturday “Neighborhood Champion” Toolkit
For the 5th annual Small Business Saturday (Nov. 27), American Express is offering a package of materials and support to help spread the pro-independent business message. The kit will be sent free to any business or organization submitting a proposed activity and committing to engage 10 other businesses. Learn more here (be sure to note AMIBA on the form).

Shift Your Shopping
To help you keep the pro-local message present throughout the holiday season, we’ll soon be updating the Shift Your Shopping website and resources for 2014. Contact us to learn about helping direct this volunteer-driven initiative.

Have an idea for a great holiday ad, poster, public service announcement (PSA) or other outreach tool? Tell us about it, and we may well design it for you! See some of our existing templates here.

New AMIBA Affiliates

logo-nationwideOrganizational Affiliate: Nationwide Marketing Group
NMG helps retailers selling large appliances, furniture, electronics and more to buy, market and educate more effectively.

Northboro Local First, Northboro, MA
Keep Ocala Local Ocala, FL

Business Members:
Hundred Mile Market, Waltham, MA
Beyond the Blackboard Toys, Arvada, CO

FairhopeNews from AMIBA Affiliates

We love the logo developed by one of the newest AMIBA affiliates, Fairhope Local (AL), and we were blown away to hear they’ve built a Facebook following of nearly 1700 since launching in June!

The Business Alliance for a Sustainable Economy — Kansas City (BASE KC) is the latest AMIBA affiliate to gain 501c6 federal tax-exempt status through our 501c6 Group Exemption Program. This program allows AMIBA affiliates to apply through AMIBA instead of the IRS, which saves $800 or more and much time for most groups. Learn more.

The Retail Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads is generating a great buzz for their “Love VA” campaign.

Stay Local! (New Orleans) provides examples of using member testimonials to market the value of membership, like this recent post.

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo received a $4000 grant from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation for their public education work to help shift support to area independent businesses and non-profit organizations. Their successful application now is part of our growing collection (member login required) of grant applications affiliates can reference. AMIBA also serves as fiscal sponsor for this grant. Find out more about this program affiliation benefit.

The Austin IBA asked each of the 72 candidates for Austin City Council to sign their Local Business Pledge. Candidates also received a copy of the goals from AIBA’s 2013 Local Business Conference. AIBA is tracking endorsements until Election Day and is posting the list to their pledge page.

Go Local Tacoma just added two staff members, an Executive Director to oversee the organization, as well as a VISTA position to assist with veteran business development in the greater Tacoma area. After 6 years of building, Go Local Tacoma has nearly 1,000 members!

AMIBA Staff Transitions

Since he joined the AMIBA team, Joe Grafton has received rave reviews for his presentations and workshops to help local Alliances and regional / national trade groups. In October, Joe will transition to specializing in that role as a contractor for AMIBA while he pursues a great opportunity to become an entrepreneur himself. Joe joins Delta Foodservice in Boston as a partner and Director of Business Education, where he will implement an Open Book Strategy for foodservice clients. This approach helps businesses grow their revenue while offering better wages and quality of life for staff. We wish Joe well in his new endeavor (his AMIBA email address will not change).

You also will be hearing less from Haley Miller, our Office Manager, as her family has relocated to Helena, MT. We thank Haley for her essential work in keeping AMIBA running smoothly.

In Related News, AMIBA is Hiring
at our Bozeman, MT headquarters. Make a living building the Localization Movement!

In Brief

The AARP recently published a valuable series of fact sheets on building more livable communities.

Celebrate New Economy Week, October 13-19.

Congratulations to the new BALLE Local Economy Fellows

Avoiding Retail Vacancies with Flexible Retail/Residential Design

Failed Entrepreneurs Find More Success the Second Time

Five things to do if your grant proposal isn’t funded

Should your local bank be a nominee for Community Banker of the Year?

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