Strength in Numbers, September 2016

Strength in Numbers, September 2016

Abe says buy local-webWells Fargo Scandal Creates Opportunity for Local Business Advocates

You’ve all heard the news of Wells Fargo Inc. creating incentives for employees to engage in illegal actions and punishing those who called attention to criminal activity within the company. The media reported on “record fines,” but fines measured in millions are too small to impact a corporation that netted $23 billion last year.

But if large numbers of people, businesses and government bodies terminate their accounts or loans and move business to community financial institutions, the positive impact for local economies and businesses will be huge, and send a strong message. While we hope most of you already bank locally, you have a great opportunity to influence others and createimportant  allies among your local banks and credit unions.

See our pages on Why and How to Choose a Locally-Owned Bank or Credit Union and Partnering with Local CFIs for ideas and tools. Share them with a local banker and see what you can accomplish together!

New Tools & Positive Models

Smart Communities Invest in Their Citizens, Not Luring Distant Corporations
A new report (pdf) from Good Jobs First demonstrates the folly of luring absentee corporations with tax breaks or subsidies and the superior return that comes from investing in local residents.

New Funding Tool Fills the ‘Friends & Family’ Gap for African American Entrepreneurs

How To Prevent Escalating Commercial Rents from Displacing Entrepreneurs? Team Up to Buy the Property!

Toolkit Helps Farmers Markets Quantify Local Economic Benefit

Louisville Businesses Buck the Trend of Homogenization to Keep Louisville Weird

Banking on Justice builds local wealth in Mississippi Delta communities.

Using Election Year to Advance Your Pro-Local Message
Election year presents a great opportunity to benefit your members by presenting or partnering in candidate forums, inviting candidates to your events to give your members the opportunity to question and educate them on issues important to you, and more. Election year also serves as an opportunity to build the advocacy component of your organization. AMIBA Affiliates: See our collection (log in to Member Resources required) of election year ideas.

amy-chelseaNew AMIBA Team Members

We’re thrilled to introduce two new members of AMIBA’s team to serve our constituents and build our organizational impact. Amy Shellenberger joins AMIBA as a development specialist. She’ll be building AMIBA’s capacity to help local business coalitions, as well as helping AMIBA affiliates with plans to increase their funding.

You may say hello to Chelsea Eddy, AMIBA’s Engagement Coordinator, next time you call us. In addition to directly helping local affiliates, she’ll be engaged in research, writing and media work to raise awareness of the importance of independent business.

Welcome New AMIBA Affiliates

White County Business Alliance, Searcy AR

Historic Monument Merchants Association, Monument CO

Learn How Your Local Business Organization Would Benefit by affiliating AMIBA

firefighter_hispanic_SPNew Spanish “Go Local” Graphics

If you have a substantial number of native Spanish-speaking residents in your area, here’s why we recommend you put some time into delivering some messages to them in Spanish. Explore the expanded library of Spanish language materials we’ve created to help deliver your message most effectively.

Holiday “Buy Local” Campaign Planning

If your community or organization is developing a campaign, be sure to check out our large resource library of activity ideas, how-to guides and free graphics.

Also, check out the free Small Business Saturday materials and support offered by American Express through the Neighborhood Champions program.

News Briefs

Supermarket Shelves for Sale
Why do a few giant corporations dominate grocery shelves, leaving little opportunity for smaller companies? This new report documents “pay to play” schemes and how chains demand payment just to place a product on the shelf.

How Big Bank Assessments of Commercial Property Drive up Costs for Local Businesses & Subsidize Chains

Big Box Chains’ Tricks to Lower Property Tax Assessments Gains National Attention
Read the report in Governing magazine or check out ILSR’s podcast on the topic.

Local Business Ownership and Community Resilience
The post-Katrina circumstances in New Orleans that made Rising from Ruins such a compelling documentary are recurring in central Louisiana after massive flooding, reminding us of the film’s powerful message. The film poignantly shows why a diversity of indie business is key to community durability. It’s free to stream and features the great work of Stay Local! (New Orleans).

Amazon-box-downtownNEWAmazon Pricing Games Mislead Customers generated important news this month, and we’ve sifted through dozens of reports to select the most notable, including:

What Happens When Amazon Takes Over College Bookstores and Gets Rid of the Books?
When Amazon Collects SalesTax Like Other Stores Must, Sales of Big-ticket Items drop 29%
The Biggest Customer of UPS and FedEx Is Now Their Competitor.

See All About Amazon for these stories and more.

Sharing this newsletter with others in your community or organization is a great way to spark ideas and engagement! If you’re not yet a subscriber and like what you see, you can get it to delivered to your inbox monthly (free) by dropping your address in the form atop right column. For more timely news, follow us on Twitter or other social media below.

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