Strength in Numbers, August 2017

Strength in Numbers, August 2017

Consumers and Small Businesses Win (for now)…

Mandatory arbitration provisions (that fine print in which companies take away your access to the civil justice system) have enabled many corporations (e.g. Wells Fargo gouging small businesses) to get away with crimes or tricks that take modest amounts of money from huge numbers of customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a rule barring forced arbitration for many financial services used by small businesses and consumers, due to take effect September 17. As you might expect, corporate lobbyists are pushing Congress to overturn it. It’s a critical time to get informed. 

…and an Instructive Loss for Indie Business Advocates

On July 23, the Federal Trade Commission (or 2/5 of a commission) approved Amazon’s buyout of Whole Foods. This quick take on the merger approval Matt Stoller of New America is the latest writer to offer a fine analysis of the need to revise our antiquated laws to limit the stifling power of the tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook.

An Indie Bookseller’s Advice for Jeff Bezos

This provocative commentary is among several outstanding articles added to our All About Amazon index this month, including deeper analysis of antitrust concerns.

And Our Advice on Competing Against Him

7 Ways Your Business (and Community) Can Counter Showrooming

Indies Uniting

Independent grocers are succeeding against the chains with the help of buying/trade groups, but without locals’ support, our choices will vanish.

Crafty Labeling

Soon you won’t need to question whether the beer before you is from an indie brewer or a conglomerate hiding its real identity.

Victory for Independent Ranchers

In Montana, a District Court ruling that mandatory “beef checkoff taxes” violate the First Amendment was upheld. Independent ranchers with differentiated products object to the taxes, which fund marketing of beef as a commodity (favoring corporate factory farms). More background here.

Is Your Business or Community Sufficiently Welcoming to All?

Debate over building a larger barrier on the US – Mexico border already is reviving misinformed scapegoating and emboldening bigots. More than ever, small business owners and communities have strong self-interest in ensuring all people feel safe and welcome.

We encourage you to review some of the resources linked on our Business Against Bigotry page and think about proactive measure you might take to send a welcoming message. And if you have a significant population of Hispanic immigrants in your area, consider employing some of these free resources provided in Spanish.

No Harm Could Come from Deregulating Mega-banks, Right?

Bloomberg News breaks down the Trump plan for removing public protections instituted after the last taxpayer bailout.


News from Local Affiliates

The second time was the charm for the Louisville IBA. LIBA’s 2017 Buy Local Fair — rescheduled for July after severe storms nixed its planned May dates — attracted more than 10,000 attendees to visit booths of 180 local businesses. Many of the participating businesses don’t have storefronts.

Portland Buy Local (ME) was awarded a $2500 Portland Economic Development Implementation Program grant to host a community forum to explore policies to strengthen Portland’s local businesses and economy in the face of chain influx and population growth. Among the issues is rising commercial rents.

Think Local First D.C. reports the Washington D.C. Council’s new budget decreases the local business franchise tax from 9 to 8.25 percent.

Cambridge Local First is the latest AMIBA affiliate to gain federal 501c6 tax-exempt status through AMIBA’s Group Exemption Program, which allows organizations to gain tax-exempt status through AMIBA instead of the IRS, while saving lots of money and time. Learn more.

Local First Utah rallied more than 30 mayors and Governor Herbert to sign proclamations officially recognizing Independents Week in Utah. The official launch occurred with a press conference, which included endorsements from Mayors and officials of Salt Lake City, Orem and many more.

July Webinar Recording and Accompanying Resources Now Online

See Deep Branding: Tips for Engaging Your Member Businesses to Use Your Brand (login required)

Welcome to the newest AMIBA Affiliates!

Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce, Palatine, IL
Local First Alliance, White River Junction, VT
Butler County Local First, Hamilton, OH
West Berkeley Design Loop, Berkeley, CA

New Business Members:

Wintergreen Northern Wear, LLC, Ely, MN
Ascension Satellite, Anchorage, AK
LV Criminal Defense,Las Vegas, NV
GainTap, Chicago, IL
Ground Floor Partners, Chicago, IL
Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, PC, Dallas, TX

See why you should consider joining AMIBA, too!

Show the Local Love!

Our attractive posters, decals, money stamps and other tools make it easy. See the full menu here.


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