Strength in Numbers, October 2017

Strength in Numbers, October 2017

Money Leaves Your Community, Amazon Smiles

What happens when a non-profit that depends on local business support starts marketing for Amazon? AMIBA board member Kristi Streiffert tells the story from a small Colorado community.

Debunking Myths About Immigrants and Jobs

Reasonable people disagree about immigration issues, but too many U.S. residents have opinions based on myths rather than facts. This timely piece debunks some dangerous misinformation and helps ensure debate over immigration is reality-based.

Amazon HQ2 Frenzy Creates a “Teachable Moment” About Building Community Wealth

More than 200 cities are courting to build it’s second headquarters, with many offering huge subsidies. But some, like San Antonio,  recognize the folly. See our curated “All About Amazon” archive for more of the best coverage.

Action opportunity: Find out if your metro area propositioned Amazon and file a request to get the bid if it has not yet been published. Use the bid to pressure your local officials into investing the money into infrastructure and programs that will nurture local entrepreneurs and yield far greater returns to taxpayers than attempting to lure absentee-owned corporations. AMIBA is happy to help you generate commentaries in your local media or engage your local government.

Citadel ruins at Bear ears Nat’l Monument (photo by Bureau of Land Management)

Protecting Public Land Boosts Local Businesses, Economies

Aside from their value in protecting America’s cultural and environmental resources, National Monuments are key economic drivers for many rural communities. And outdoor recreation now creates far more jobs than extractive industry in the western U.S..


Success Stories from Local Affiliates

Indie Awards
MetroIBA (Twin Cities)Portland (ME) Buy Local, and Think Local First DC are among the growing number of local alliances giving out Indie Awards to spotlight outstanding local businesses and the support they provide to their communities. “Conducting an Indie Awards Program” is the topic of an AMIBA conference call; affiliates can find a recording and support materials in Member Resources (login required).

Sustain-a-Bull: Buy Independent Durham and the New Baltimore Business Alliance (MI) are the latest organizations to take to AMIBA’s 501c6 Group Exemption Program, which enables affiliates to attain 501c6 federal tax-exempt status through AMIBA, eliminating the need to engage a lawyer or dealing with the IRS, and saving at least $800.

Teaming Up to Support Local Agriculture
Local First (SW Colorado) partnered with several area non-profit organizations to attain a three-year $355,000 USDA Agricultural Marketing Service grant. The grant funds creation of a food recovery hub — gleaning food that otherwise would be left to rot in fields and orchards. The program also will help prevent bear-human conflicts. AMIBA is serving as fiscal sponsor for the grant.

SBN Massachusetts held their 8th annual Boston Local Food Festival on Sept. 17, and it was their most successful yet. Nearly 50,000 people wandered among, nibbled and sipped at the more than 100 vendors showing off regionally-produced and crafted fare.

City Government Helping Entrepreneurs
St. Paul Open for Business” is a one-stop shop for businesses looking to start or grow. A multi-lingual pocket guide available in print and online outlines the City’s process and offers practical tips, links to helpful business resources, maps and permitting pages.

New AMIBA Resources, Programs and Benefits

Producing and Placing Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
While media no longer are obligated to provide space for public service announcements (PSAs) as a community service, many still opt to do so, or may donate unsold ad space. It’s a great opportunity to get your message to the community. See our new resource to learn more.

Integrated Database / Website Streamlines Operations for Local Business Organizations 
If you help run a local business coalition, how much time is spent keeping track of membership, updating information on your website, invoicing and communicating with members? How many software platforms and services are you using to accomplish these? What if you could do most or all of these tasks in one place – and have a website that integrates seamlessly with your data?

We’ve been working to develop an integrated database and website template to help streamline our affiliates’ work – to put more of their time into advancing their mission and less into administration while saving money. Contact us for details.

Mentorship Program Accepting New Round of Participants
After enthusiastic feedback from participants in the first year of AMIBA’s Mentorship Program, we’re ready to build on it for a second year. The program matches newer leaders of local business coalitions with experienced veterans. We’re now seeking applicants for year two. Contact us for eligibility, guidelines and to apply.


Drive More People to Your Local Independent Businesses for the Holidays!

Small Business Saturday is November 25 and, once again, American Express is offering a wide array of free materials through its Neighborhood Champions program to help you promote the event, including the new “Shop Small” studio. 2017 registration deadline is Nov. 10. The Shop Small Facebook page also will provide new content through Nov. 10.

AMIBA also offers you a wide array of free materials and ideas, including Holiday Campaign and Event IdeasWays to Capitalize on Small Business Saturday,  Posters, Gift Tags, Graphics and Public Service Announcements, and much more!


Click image to see library of free holiday graphics

Welcome to the Newest AMIBA Affiliates!

Downtown Georgetown (TX) Association
BAOBOB (Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses) 

New Premier Business Member 
Woodybilt Manufacturing, Bourbon, MO

New Business Members 
Daspit Law Firm, Houston, TX
Corner Drug Store, Endicott, NY
Lawrence Nutrition Center, Lawrence, KS
Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson, Pittsburgh, PA
Mainly Local Magazine, Flagler Beach, FL

See why you should consider joining AMIBA, too!


Building Broadly-Shared Economic Opportunity

As part of our Business Against Bigotry campaign, workshops will be offered in upcoming weeks to help address local equity and diversity while building local entrepreneurial opportunities and more welcoming communities. Contact us for details on coming events in Louisville, KY; New Orleans, Boston, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

In Brief

Dollar Stores Vacuuming Wealth Out of Rural America
An informative report about the dramatic and continuing growth of various “dollar” chains. The good news? Many more rural communities are starting or exploring community-owned stores to increase local self-reliance and wealth.

How Independent Toy Stores Are Thriving While Toys R US Goes Bankrupt 

U.S. Supreme Court May Revisit the Online Sales Tax Loophole

Chicago Food Truck Entrepreneurs Ally to Change Onerous Rules

Indie Pharmacies on the Rise

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