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Announcement Posts for HumIBA
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 http://www.newrules.org/sites/newrules.org/files/2011-ind-business-survey.pdf
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 www.HumIBA.org.
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.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch!
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 (http://humiba.org/collaborative_advertising.html)
Local Options Independent Business Directory (http://humiba.org/localOptionsDirectory.html)
Upcoming: Independents Week, July 1-7 (http://www.amiba.net/independents_week.html)
Upcoming: Indy Biz Mixers
Check out what other IBAs are doing:
Austin, TX: http://ibuyaustin.com/
Santa Fe, NM: http://www.santafealliance.com/
Albequerqe, NM: http://keepitquerque.org/
Boulder, CO (the ORIGINAL!): http://www.boulder-iba.org/
To join as a member:
Thanks so much for participating and considering membership!
Working together we can keep Humboldt vibrant, unique, and strong…