Strength in Numbers, September 2015

Strength in Numbers, September 2015

Planning Now = Effective Holiday Events and Campaigns!

What’s your event and promotional strategy for this season? While many of you have started preparing already, it’s time to start if not. Planning ahead helps build engagement and more effective campaigns, so we encourage you to explore AMIBA’s growing collection of articles, graphics, activities and other items to help local businesses and organizations effectively spread the pro local / independent business message during the holiday season.

Small Business Saturday Opportunity

The 6th annual Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28, and American Express invites you to register now to become a Neighborhood Champion. Registrants will receive an event kit containing Shop Small shopping bags, balloons, and other items to help you kick off your event, as well as activity guides.

See also 10 Ways to Capitalize on Small Business Saturday and the SBS Facebook page.

Shift Your Shopping Survey + Opportunity

Shift Your Shopping will once again provide a season-long opportunity to help spread the pro-community, pro-independent message. While the website and campaign are active only Oct.-Dec., you’re invited to share your ideas and requests now, as well as put your local business group on the map via this brief survey.

Franchise-marketing-realityShould Franchises Be Included in “Buy Local” Campaigns?

Some of the most common questions AMIBA staff field from pro-local groups regard whether or how to handle franchises as business members. This revised and newly-public article may help.

See also: The Myth of the Franchise Advantage

Success Stories

Fueling Lending to Small Business
North Dakota community banks lend more than four times as much to small businesses compared to the nation average — learn why from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Victory on Disclosure of Corporate Subsidies
Local and state governments will be obliged to tally and annually disclose tax breaks they give to corporations under new rules from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. This is a win for both taxpayers and independent businesses that often are harmed by subsidies to their competitors, including large chains and online companies.

Landlords Who Love Indies
Commercial property owners can’t be blamed for wanting to profit from their holding. But we think owning commercial property comes with some responsibility to the community. This article gives us hope.

Guerilla Economic Development Gains Legitimacy

Farmers Market on Wheels Takes Food to Triad Area “Food Deserts.” 

Healthier Food for Needy Families and a Healthier Landscape for All
Six times more food stamp redemptions now occur at farmers’ markets compared to 2008!

Easthampton, Massachusetts is the latest to cap size of “big box” stores — with unanimous city council vote

see-here-buy-here-keep-hereNeeds Improvement:

“Dark Store” Loophole for Big Box Property Assessment Threatens Community Tax BaseAlso, see more resources on this issue from Michigan.

Businesses Owned by Women, Minorities Lag in Revenue Share

Bodegas Declining in Manhattan as Rents Rise and Chains Grow

News and Tools

Is Amazon’s Media Honeymoon Over?
After two decades of largely fawning coverage, reporters are starting to look more critically at many destructive impacts of Amazon on communities, employment and their own employees. See the latest posts at All About Amazon, along with some popular new graphics — guaranteed to spark engagement among your social media followers.

Local Purchasing Preferences Are Just One Component of Localizing Government Procurement
The Institute for Local Self Reliance explains the components of an effective plan to increase local sourcing.

Indie Business Awards
Our allies at Stihl USA and Independent We Stand present the fifth annual Indie Awards which includes a hefty prize package for the winning business.

What is a “New Economy?”
“New Economy” is heard frequently these days, but what does it mean? Our friends at the Canadian Community Economic Development Network offer their perspective on needed changes.

Notable Non-profit Resources
The Foundation Center hosts a map to help non-profits find support organizations and relevant government entities in their state.

Non-profit skills development on a limited budget — a great list of free resources!

HudsonValley Brainerd-LakesProudAMIBA Welcomes Three New Affiliates!

Falmouth Independent Business Alliance, Falmouth, ME
Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce, Brainerd, MN
Go Local Hudson Valley, Beacon, NY

Here’s why almost pro-local business groups that take time to learn benefits of AMIBA affiliation ends up joining.

Local Alliances in Action

Keep Saint Petersburg Local now provides a city-wide job board as a benefit for their members who are hiring.

The Main Street Stillwater IBA won a $75,000 grant to increase business awareness of recycling. They will receive 5 years of support at $15,000 per year under the grant. For AMIBA affiliates, you can view their successful grant application in Member Resources (log in here first).

Stay Local! (New Orleans) turned their business members’ responses to the annual Survey of Independent Businesses into a powerful tool to tell their story. Stay Local! also partnered with the Good Work Network to host a workshop for New Orleans’ makers, artists, and product designers featuring branding experts and panelists from the area who will teach makers how to build their empire in the competitive world of retail sales.

After several local businesses were hit with lawsuits, MetroIBA’s Education Committee (Twin Cities, MN) is assisting members to learn disability access laws and share information. (Any business receiving a complaint about accessibility violations should promptly consult an attorney.) Also, MetroIBA director Mary Hamel was spotlighted in the Minnesota Women’s Press

Seacoast Local (Portsmouth, NH/Kittery, ME) is using National Coffee Day, September 29, to engage new citizen members through java. The first 100 citizens who contribute $25 to Seacoast Local to become Community Members will receive a voucher for a free cup of coffee at the Seacoast Local cafe member of their choice.

Front Royal IBA (VA) reports that four year of work by FRIBA and partners has paid off, as they persuaded the town to create a Community Development Director position. The new-hire will focus energy on helping local entrepreneurs.

It’s sad to see an Independent Business Alliance close, but the Mile High Business Alliance is doing it right and has made Denver a better place.

AMIBA_posterconcepts-final“Why Buy Local?” Poster Special

These colorful posters (four different colors–each spotlighting a different reason to buy local) offer an attractive and easy way to spread the pro-local business message. For the rest of Sept., we’ll add 4 free poster sets to any order of 12 ($50) when you enter the promo code 16for12 at check-out. And Priority Mail shipping is free! You’ll receive 64 posters total. Visit our store to view these and other outreach tools.

Thank You to These Champions for Independent Business!!

If you value the array of free graphics, how-tos and other resources from AMIBA, our generous sponsors deserve appreciation. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of becoming an AMIBA sponsor.

If you are not yet receiving this monthly bulletin when it’s published, you can subscribe via the form at top of right column.

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