Announcement Posts for HumIBA

Nationwide Survey Shows Independent Business Alliances Are Increasing Revenue for Local Businesses

For the fourth year in a row, a national survey of independent businesses has found that those in communities with active Buy Independent / Buy Local (BIBL) campaigns experienced markedly stronger sales growth compared to those located in areas without such a campaign.

The survey by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance gathered data from 2,768 independent businesses, including retailers, service providers, restaurants and others. It found that those in places with a “buy local” initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere.

Among retailers the benefit was even more dramatic. Those in communities with alliances like the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance (HumIBA) gained a 5.2% increase in holiday sales, while retailers elsewhere reported an average gain of just 0.8%.

Educational campaigns run by Independent Business Alliances and Local First groups are underway in about 140 communities nationwide, including Humboldt County. Locally, the HumIBA ran television and radio commercials and holiday promotions in December to encourage local residents to “Go Local for the Holidays.” The group’s holiday campaign supplemented the work they do year-round to encourage local purchasing including their “Local Options” Independent Business Directory and a website where businesses can sign-up for free and residents can search and find an independent business to meet their needs.

“Over 300 residents signed our pledge to Go Local for the Holidays,” said HumIBA Coordinator Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap. “This survey just proves how important programs like the HumIBA really are. Going local really is good for everyone in the community, and more and more people are realizing that and changing their purchasing habits.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses had increased in the last year.

Business owners in cities with active “BIBL” campaigns reported a wide range of positive impacts on their business. Almost half reported the campaign had brought new customers to their business and 55% said it had made existing customers more loyal. More than two-thirds said local media coverage of independent businesses had increased and 51% said local government officials were now more aware and supportive of the needs of independent businesses.

Complete results may be downloaded at

Similar surveys over the last three years likewise found that independent businesses in cities with active “BIBL” campaigns reported stronger sales each year.

“This survey adds to the growing body of evidence that people are increasingly seeking out independent businesses and that shift is having a tangible impact on the bottom line,” said Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with ILSR, a nonprofit research and educational organization, in partnership with dozens of national and local business organizations, including the American Independent Business Alliance, American Booksellers Association, Alliance of Independent Media Stores,  American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, National Bicycle Dealers Association, and TriMega Purchasing Association.

“This survey offers further proof that, with sustained efforts, communities can indeed raise local consciousness and build a culture of support for local entrepreneurs,” said Jennifer Rockne, executive director of the American Independent Business Alliance. “In Humboldt County, the campaign operated by the HumIBA is funded by businesses paying $25 or less per month in dues. These businesses are getting quite a return on their investment.”

More information about the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance can be found at



January 2011 Newsletter

Go Local for the Holidays – Campaign Update

We’ve added a few more components to the Holiday Campaign. Thanks so much to all the businesses who have signed up so far!

Here are all the ways you can participate:

Remember, you must be a current dues-paying member of HumIBA to participate in these promotions for your business.

You can renew your membership here or join for the first time online.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch!

Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
HumIBA Coordinator

November 2010 Newsletter

October 2010 Newsletter

July 2010 Newsletter

  • Thursday, July 1 – HumIBA on Thursday Night Talk
  • Thursday, July 4 – 4th of July Table in Eureka
  • Thursday, July 8 – Independents Month Mixer at Robert Goodman Wines
  • Update Local Options 2010/2011 Directory
  • Help Us Promote Your Business – Use our Facebook Page

Dear HumIBA friends and members:

July is Independents Month!

When in the course of human events, it becomes appropriate for communities to assert their independence, to denounce uniformity and celebrate their uniqueness, a respect for freedom and human creativity requires independent businesses and peoples to declare those elements which make them interesting.

This month we’ll be holding our summer mixer and tabling at the Eureka 4th of July celebration to help spread the word about how our Humboldt County businesses make our community unique and independent!

This month the cities of Eureka and Arcata and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will be passing resolutions declaring July to be Independents Month and acknowledging the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance and our homegrown businesses for all that you do to make our community a special place we all love.

Join us in this annual celebration of our Independents!


HumIBA Looks to Models From Other IBAs on KHSU’s Thursday Night Talk

Thursday, July 1 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm, KHSU (90.5FM)

To kick off Independents Month, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap and Jon Zaglin of HumIBA will interview other IBA chapters from across the country to discuss the exciting and innovative projects and policies they’re employing to strengthen their local economies and communities.

Stay Local! in New Orleans has been a vigilant advocate for the local independent businesses in the city’s recovery after Hurricane Katrina. They successfully petitioned the State to look local when a State-owned museum was considering bringing Starbucks into an area of the building designated for commercial use. They also developed a close relationship with the Federal Office of Recovery Management and received funds from them to broaden the reach of their directories and bring them into new neighborhoods (each neighborhood has its own directory — the directories helped residents recognize which businesses actually were open in the aftermath of the Hurricane).

The Austin, TX IBA helped convene a meeting of representatives from City Economic Development, commercial real estate, commercial developers (including big mall developers), and other stakeholders that took them into discussion of their issues with each other — good and bad. In trying to find solutions and ways to partner for the better, AIBA held a business expo to help connect local independent businesses wanting to move or expand with developers seeking indies for their developments. They had an expo hall with tables for all attendees to present their information and be available to talk, but they also had breakout sessions for the participants — some dealt with helping the indies to learn more about what they would need to work with the big mall developers, funding options for expansion, available resources through the City, etc. Others helped the big developers, leasing agents, etc. learn about the particular needs of the indies.

The Santa Fe Alliance is engaged in a major project to create a local food distribution system for Northern New Mexico that will help open more local markets to area farmers and connect restaurant and home tables with locally-produced foods. They tapped into a USDA grant and others to help fund the endeavor.

Join Kaitlin and Jon Thursday night for inspiration and ideas we can employ here in Humboldt County. This is a call-in show so you’ll be able to ask our guests questions and engage in the discussion.

KHSU can be found on the radio at 90.5 Arcata/91.9 Crescent City-Brookings/89.1 FM Ferndale-Fortuna/89.7 FM Garberville/99.7 FM and streaming on the web at


Visit Us at the Old Town 4th of July Celebration on Sunday!

Stop By Our Table and Celebrate Our Independents!

We’ll be tabling at the Eureka 4th of July Celebration and getting the world out about how community members can keep it local.

HumIBA members are welcome to drop off promotional materials for our table. Give us a call to set up a time to come by: 476-8475. You can also drop off materials at the table on Sunday. We’d love you to come by and pay us a visit!


Celebrate Independents Month – Summer Mixer at Robert Goodman Wines in Arcata

Thursday, July 8 from 5:30-7:30pm

The mixer is open to everyone and will feature food catered by Yvette Troyna of Sweet Basil Catering, a brief presentation about the HumIBA and our projects, and an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and fellow business owners.

We will also provide information to help businesses take advantage of the HumIBA radio and television Collaborative Advertising Programs we offer through Eureka Television Group and Lost Coast Communications.

RSVP to this event through Facebook.

Mark your calendars, our next mixer will be October 14.


2010/2011 Local Options Directory Printing Update

We’re Almost Ready to Compile the Directory!

We’ve been working to secure sponsorships and financing for the 2010-2011 Local Options Directory. Our designer will be out of the country in July so we’ll be collecting all the final business listings while she is away and the directory will go to print in August.

To check your listing for accuracy or to make updates, please login to our website using your email address and password. If you’ve forgotten your password you can easily reset it yourself – just follow the instructions to have a temporary password emailed to you. If you have any trouble, don’t hesitate to give us a call (476-8475) or email Kaitlin –

If you would like to take advantage of Membership advantages — including the opportunity to have your listings highlighted with our crab logo, a description or your business included, or your business logo in the directory — please make sure your dues are current. Click here to sign up for Membership or learn more.

If you’ve received a phone call from Amy, Jon or Stephanie about your lapsed membership, please be sure to respond ASAP to keep your membership current.


HumIBA on Facebook – Members, Help Us Promote Your Business!

Got Promotions, New Products or Services, Upcoming Events and Announcements? Let’s Get the Word Out!

We can spread the word about the exciting promotions, special offers, discounts, announcements, upcoming events or new products our members want to share with the Humboldt County community. We’d be happy to post links to your website or news articles about your business.

Just email Kaitlin – – the short text and link to your announcement and she’ll post it to our page. We’re happy to keep the buzz going about our fabulous HumIBA members – help us help you!

Preference will be given to HumIBA Members. Become a HumIBA Member today to take advantage of this additional promotion for your business.

If your business has a Facebook page, let us know so we can link to you, and please link back to us too! If you have a Facebook account you can visit the HumIBA FB fan page. And please encourage your friends to “Like” our page too!

March 2010 Newsletter

  • Wednesday, March 24 – You’re Invited to the First 2010 Mixer
  • Thursday, April 1 – Local Options 2010/2011 Directory Deadline
  • Saturday, April 3 – Plan It Green
  • Check It Out! Join Our Facebook Page
  • Report from Northern CA Regional Gathering of IBA

First 2010 Mixer Hosted By Jambalaya Restaurant in Arcata

Wednesday, March 24 at 5:30pm

The mixer is open to everyone and will feature food provided by Wildberries and Jambalaya, a brief presentation about the HumIBA and our projects, and an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and fellow business owners.

Lost Coast Communications and Eureka Television Group will also provide information to help businesses take advantage of the HumIBA radio and television Collaborative Advertising Programs.

Special thanks to Pete at Jambalaya and Phil at Wildberries for their support!

RSVP to this event through Facebook.

Local Options Listing Deadline Extended

Make Sure Your Listings Are In and Current by April 1, 2010

This really is the last call for updating your listings in the next directory. If you know businesses that aren’t in the 2009 Directory, please make sure to forward them this message so they don’t miss the opportunity for 2010/2011.

To check your listing for accuracy or to make updates, please login to our website using your email address and password. If you’ve forgotten your password you can easily reset it yourself – just follow the instructions to have a temporary password emailed to you. If you have any trouble, don’t hesitate to give us a call (476-8475) or email Kaitlin.

If you would like to take advantage of Membership advantages — including the opportunity to have your listings highlighted with our crab logo, a description or your business included, or your business logo in the directory — please make sure your dues are current. Click here to sign up for Membership or learn more.

Members who need to renew for 2010 will be emailed invoices by Monday, March 22 so be sure to check your Inbox!

HumIBA Co-Sponsors Plan It Green Conference

Saturday, April 3 from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Arcata Community Center

The conference kick-offs Saturday morning with our beloved Farmer’s Market — the first of 2010.

The day will progress with a series of hands-on workshops about topics ranging from backyard gardening and food preservation to green jobs and local economic development.

There will also be a poster presentation room with passive displays and good strong coffee (the stimulus package).

The tradeshow-expo will run from 9 am to 5 pm giving you plenty of time to talk with experts and look over the goods and services being offered locally.

There will also be music, electric vehicles, and a Kid’s Zone. The day will end with a keynote address from Tim LaSalle, the Executive Director of the Rodale Institute. Tim has been advising President Obama on the benefits of organic agricultural in reducing green house gas emissions.

The entire event is free and open to the public.

HumIBA on Facebook!

Please Become a “Fan” of Our Page and Let’s Link to Each Other

In the last month we’ve noticed the explosion of Humboldt County Indy Businesses on Facebook and we thought we better join in the networking fun!

Please check out our page and become a fan. And we’d love to showcase the pages of our membership through the “Favorite Pages” option on the lower left-hand side of all pages. Please make the HumIBA one of your favorites too, to let your customers know we’re all working together to keep Humboldt unique and special, just like your business.

Please let us know if you’ve linked to us, and we’ll do the same for you!

Report from Northern CA Regional IBA Gathering

Independent Business Community of Northern California is Getting Organized!

On March 8, 2010 the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) held its first ever regional conference in Oakland,CA. From Eureka to Fresno, city governments to budding business alliances, there were over fifteen organizations represented at the seven-hour round table discussion. It didn’t take long for the electricity generated during the meet and greet to escalate into a full-out brainstorm once Jeff Milchen (founder of AMIBA) opened the floor.

While much of the conversation served to clarify and affirm the goals, principles and benefits of Independent Business Alliances, there were a few juicy ideas that captured the group’s attention and imagination. One of these was the customer loyalty card project of the Sonoma County IBA. Working with a local bank, GoLocal Sonoma County has created a loyalty card that is sold to individuals at a flat annual rate and which accrues discounts for the customer with each purchase at IBA stores. According to Kelley Rajala of GoLocal, the swipe-card equipment and software is inexpensive and easy to install and use. One of the collateral benefits of the loyalty card is that the software will enable GoLocal to track important information about local purchasing patterns which may be used
in economic analyses.

Another topic that commanded attention was public policy. Some policies protect and promote local businesses while others can make their survival a practical impossibility. Among economic policies which stack the chips against Indy business are those which promote “Big Game Hunting,” or the
attraction of Big-Box retailers and foreign manufacturers with sometimes millions of dollars in tax-breaks and subsidies. AMIBA suggests this approach be replaced with policies promoting “Economic Gardening,” or the practice of nurturing and growing a vibrant local economy. To that end, HumIBA is working with the Humboldt County Supervisors to pass a local preference policy that would support our independent businesses. Contact us for details.

Another policy problem that arose was that of “Corporate Personhood,” or the legal doctrine that allows corporations to wield human constitutional rights against democratically enacted laws. If local populations are ever to pass and preserve laws that help independent businesses and local economies flourish, Corporate Personhood must first be abolished.

Other actions that were briefly touched upon include group purchasing of generic items such as paper cups and plates, but customizing them to promote independent businesses (the IBA in Boulder, CO found that even with custom paper cups the net cost was ultimately less for each business). Another was to sponsor a public screening of “Independent America: Rising from the Ruins” a documentary film about the trials and triumphs of the recovery of New Orleans’ local businesses.

For more fresh ideas coming out of the Northern California independent business community, and for more information about AmIBA, visit [].

Thanks to our intern Taylor Steelman for travelling to Oakland to represent HumIBA and for providing this report

2009 Membership Drive

We’re coming to the close of a very successful first year, but to ensure that HumIBA can continue and expand the positive community development that comes with supporting Humboldt’s independent businesses, we need to broaden our membership base. To that end, we are going to begin in earnest our 2009 Membership Drive, so please read the following and expect a call from one of our staff, volunteers, or business members encouraging you to join us as a Business Member!
Joining isn’t expensive!  While we encourage business owners to come in at regular membership, we do offer a $50/year intro membership, which works out to less than a cup of locally-brewed coffee a week! Even in tough economic times, that’s not too rough. You could easily recoup your membership fee by availing yourself of some of the discounts you’re eligible for from many of our busines members, and if you participate in even one of our shared advertising campaigns, you’ll save well over what it cost to join in the first place.

Regular Membership Annual Dues:
0 employees: $80 (~ the cost of a 16 oz cup of locally-brewed coffee/week)
1-5 employees: $100 (~ 20 oz cup of locally-brewed coffee/week)
6-15 employees: $120 (< a latte/week)
15+ employees: $160 (< a mocha/week)
Founding Membership (available through June 1): Any business that gives $250 or more in this first year (~double shot mocha with rasberry flavoring and whipped cream/week! Mmmmm….).

While we’re certainly not encouraging you to give up your preferred hot beverage for us (we’d feel bad taking business away from a member coffee shop!), we do want to put in perspective what it really costs to join with other indy biz owners to grow an organization that exists to engage in positive community development through supporting you.

We currently have 120 members and about 450 free-listers. If we can double the number of members (at an average of $80/biz/year), which would mean bringing on only 25% of our free-listers, we would have enough funds to hire on, at a reasonable salary, a full-time staff person, which is a huge step towards lasting sustainability. Scott currently gets a stipend of $350/month for the 30+ hrs a week of work he does for the IBA, an arrangement he will not be able to sustain beyond this summer, despite his passion for community development through independent businesses. Kaitlin’s work is in addition her duties as Executive Director of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.

A full-time staff member will be able to better serve HumIBA members by administering education/media to the general public, running a Buy Local First campaign, responding to member needs, and developing new projects to benefit you and our community. Independent Business Alliances are effective because of their ability to maintain momentum and build on it, and the presence of a dedicated, paid staff person is integral to that being possible – and to HumIBA taking it to the next level.

If you want to refresh your memory as to what we do and the potential we have, check the following info and links…
For a list of our member benefits:
For a list of our 2008 accomplishments:
Our current projects:
Collaborative (shared) advertising (
Local Options Independent Business Directory (
Community Education/Tabling
Upcoming: Independents Week, July 1-7 (
Upcoming: Indy Biz Mixers
Check out what other IBAs are doing:
Austin, TX:
Santa Fe, NM:
Albequerqe, NM:
Boulder, CO (the ORIGINAL!):
To join as a member:

Thanks so much for participating and considering membership!
Working together we can keep Humboldt vibrant, unique, and strong…

May 2009 Newsletter

  1. Save the Date: AEDC’s Spotlight on Success, May 20th, Arcata Theater Lounge
  2. Great Coverage in the Times-Standard
  3. Intern housing still needed!
  4. New Website to be launched in May/June
  5. Education and Outreach Update
  6. 2009 Membership Drive launched
  7. Directory distribution sites
  8. Step Up Program: Experience for youth, no-cost employees for you
  9. Next on the list: Mixers!
  10. Reminder: Stretch your ad dollars with shared advertising!
  11. News and Announcements now archived on-line

AEDC’s Spotlight on Success, May 20th

The last Spotlight on Success was a lot of fun, and this one looks to be even better! AEDC ( is a Founding Member, and you’re all invited to attend the event. It’s going to be at the Arcata Theater Lounge, which, as a brand new business in our area, not to mention an exciting overhaul of the Arcata Theater, should be very exciting. Be sure to call AEDC for your free tickets, and we’ll be there tabling for HumIBA!

The announcement is as follows:

Spotlight On Success! May 13th

AEDC’s Annual Celebration of

Small Business Success May 20th!

There’s no getting around it. It’s been a tough year for businesses all over.  Humboldt County, however, is home to a special breed of business owner . . .  Creative, persistent and constantly aware of how to do more with less. It’s worth celebrating.


Wednesday, May 20th — 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Call for your FREE tickets at (707) 822-4616.

Featuring a special presentation from the Small Business Administration to

Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove Chevre  — 2009 Small Business Person of the Year

Local Food Samples : Door Prizes : Music and Dancing : Business Displays and Demonstrations : Beer and Wine available for purchase

Help us shine the spotlight on success!

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Great coverage in the Times-Standard

Last week saw our press-release on the publishing of the Local Optionsdirectory get great placement on page A2, above the fold, in the Times-Standard. We got a lot of good responses from that article. Here’s the link to the article on our website, which is linked at the bottom to the original on the Times-Standard website:

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Intern housing still needed!

We’re excited to have another intern this summer whose work focus will be on the IBA! Claire Cahen attends Pomona College, a liberal arts school in Claremont, southern California. Claire will help HumIBA put on Independents Week 2009 (, assist us with community education and outreach, and help recruit new members.

Please see our announcement for more details:

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New Website to be launched May/June

Thanks again to Precision Intermedia, we’re going to be launching a revamped website within the next month! While it will look basically the same, as a Drupal content-management system, the functionality will be far superior, including a system which will allow all listers/members to have access to their listings with a user name/password combination, a place for you to upload your logos and images, and, best of all, and auto-generated on-line directory with tags and keywords that will allow users to search for specific goods and services.

With the tags and keywords, we can say goodbye to the “I don’t know which independent businesses have those products” argument for Big-Box shopping! If all of you are able to compile a comprehensive list of your products and services to cut-and-paste into the new system, we’ll be able to make it much easier for folks to come to you for those things. It’s not that folks don’t want to support local and indy, it’s just that it often takes more research and effort to find out where stuff is available.

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Education and Outreach Update

Scott and our generous HumIBA volunteers have been tabling events the last two weekends. First was the Redwood Empire Artists, Crafters, and Handworkers (REACH) Spring Fever Festival, and this last weekend was the Blue Ox May Day event. We’ve had a few more businesses sign up for free-listings, not to mention a couple of members come out of the work. We’ve been able to speak to a lot of people about the IBA, and have made some good connections in the process. The ongoing exposure is helping to get the Hum Indy Biz brand out there and into the thoughts of Humboldt County’s residents.

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2009 Membership Drive launched

Yesterday our listers received an e-mail announcing our 2009 Membership Drive. We hope to grow the organization enough to be able to hire on a full-time, paid staff member to help us do even more. If you didn’t see the announcement, you can see it on-line, here:

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Directory distribution sites

If you’re in need of directories, NuGames in Arcata has a stock of them, as well as Signature Coffee in Redway. If you can’t make it out there, let us know, and we’ll do our best to get you some!

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Step Up Program: No-cost summer employees

We saw this in the Small Business Development Center newsletter, and thought we should pass it along: 

“Last year, approximately two dozen young people participated in Step Up for Youth, which provides job opportunities to youths who are at risk in some way.  This year, over 100 (possibly 200) youth can participate, due to federal stimulus funds.  The employer provides a job during the summer and–of critical importance–attentive mentorship.  The County pays the wages and insurances.  Interested folks should contact:

Laura Chancellor
StepUp Program Coordinator
(707) 445-6226

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Next on the list: Mixers

We’ve been getting feedback that folks would like to have more opportunities to interact with other HumIBA members, so plans are in the works to begin setting up mixers. If you’d like to provide a space for the mixer, donate some snacks, or help out in arranging it, let Scott know at

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Reminder: Stretch your advertising dollars! Shared advertising packages

Want to do advertising, but not sure you can afford it? Need to cut back your advertising, but want to keep your name out there? Remember that, as HumIBA members, you can participate in our collaborative advertising packages.  We have both radio, through KHUM/Lost Coast Communications, and TV, through Eureka Television Group. Next on the list is print advertising through the North Coast Journal!

Check the details and see samples of both the radio and TV spots here (

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Old News and Announcements now On-line

Our old E-News and Announcements are now available on-line, if you want to refer back to them.  They are available here (

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