In Op-Ed for Fortune ILSR Details the High Cost of Cashless Retail Trend

Originally published in Fortune
by Charlie Thaxton

Cashless retail is on the rise and has begun to concern some lawmakers. New Jersey recently banned the practice. Philadelphia has done the same. So far, the debates leading up to these laws have mostly centered on how cash-free establishments exclude unbanked citizens.

In a commentary piece for Fortune, ILSR researcher Charlie Thaxton details another major cost. Cashless retail — and credit cards in general — allow a handful of credit card monopolies and big banks to siphon billions of dollars from consumers and businesses through the swipe fees they charge merchants. These fees amounted to $79 billion last year.

Businesses, especially small ones, have little leverage to negotiate these fees, which average about 2 percent of a transaction. Refusing to accept Visa and Mastercard isn’t a viable option, either. READ MORE.

Amy's EDU: The Scoop on Entrepreneur Secrets (Wed, May 08, 2019)

We are thrilled to present Amy’s EDU: The Amy’s Way. Amy’s Ice Creams has been “Making People’s Days” since 1984. This Texas staple is known for their award-winning super-premium ice cream, high flying ice cream acrobatics, and world-class customer service. But what a lot of people don’t know, that the ice cream business is just a front for what we really are…an entrepreneurial training business.

This workshop was so well received at out Local Resource Academy, that we’re offering an encore for lunch. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing YOU there!

Enjoy a delicious taco bar at El Mercado Backstage and walk away with a new perspective from your friends at Amy’s Ice Creams.

In partnership with the City of Austin Small Business Program.

Check out other sessions offered by the City of Austin Small Business Program in celebration of National Small Business Week.

Source: Events

Breakfast: Navigating the changing landscape of social media and other marketing methods for local business – What’s changed, what hasn’t and does it even matter? (Tue, April 09, 2019)

Julie Niehoff will leave you with simple, manageable steps you can take right now to get more out of your own marketing without having to change the way you do everything and without having to spend a lot of money. This session will include time for Q&A with a focused discussion on whatever topics our participants bring into the mix.

2 for 2 Member Showcase features Blain Haig from Gold Standard Floor Care.

Free for AIBA members and prospective members. Thank you to Texas Coffee Traders for fabulous coffee and Tacodeli for delicious breakfast tacos to start our day off right! 

Julie Niehoff is an executive marketing coach, helping small businesses and nonprofit organizations tel their story and find their stride. She also helps big brands like Facebook, Microsoft and UPA better understand, reach and teach small organizations. She serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Austin-based Distance Learning Media and founded a popular event series called Local Biz Camps in 2016

Niehoff has more than 20 years in technology marketing and her background is largely focused on education and training. One of her most recent projects was to build the new AIBA website, Her speaking style is informal, non-technical and practical.

Source: Events

AIBA & SOS Alliance Spring Cruise (Wed, March 27, 2019)

Come have a fabulous time on one of Austin’s most beautiful treasures with a cruise on the lake. Capital Cruises takes us on their double decker for a cruise with food, friends, music and drink. And it’s all free! This cruise is dedicated to growing two great organizations—AIBA and SOS Alliance. So bring your friends and colleagues to support these important organizations through joining us. Free for members and prospective members of AIBA or SOS Alliance. We’ll have great pizza from Conans Pizza, a Special Dillo Drink with Tito’s Vodka as well as other selections to wet your whistle.

The boat opens at 5:30 and we leave the dock at 6 sharp. Parking is available in the Hyatt parking garage for $6.00 for the first four hours and $13 for 4-7 hours. Valet parking is available at the Hyatt for $15.00. Some street parking is available.

Source: Events

Breakfast: What Cheese Can Tell us About Austin Business (Tue, March 05, 2019)

The success stories of Austin businesses inspire us to greater and more enjoyable success ourselves.  This year, we’re highlighting newer and younger businesses at our AIBA breakfast meetings.  What energy they add to our town!

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is a perfect example of younger people starting a business that really adds to Austin culture.  Kendall Antonelli writes, “Two years after John Antonelli announced on our honeymoon that he wanted to quit his job and “do something in cheese,” we unlocked the front door to our very own cheese shop on February 11, 2010.

We’ve been asked many times since, “Why a Cheese Shop?” and the answer is simple. After putting ourselves through cheese bootcamps, running a cheese club out of our house, attending cheese conferences, interning for French affineur Herve Mons, journeying through Europe, and eating our way through thousands of tasty cheese morsels, we honed in on our true passions. Then, over a bottle of wine one evening, we realized that working together behind a cheese case would allow us to fulfill them all: eat great cheese, share the stories of artisanal producers, and spread joy through good bites. Ignoring all evidence of a down economy we went for it, determined to be led by our mission: Do Good. Eat Good.

Today, we have our flagship brick-and-mortar cheese shop in Hyde Park, a cheese house where we host 200+ public classes and private events yearly, a wholesale program sourcing for over 150 Central Texas chefs, and an e-commerce site selling and shipping nationwide our monthly cheese club, gifts, and cheese trays.

We’ve been grateful to receive numerous accolades, including Best Cheese Shops in America (Travel + Leisure Mag), Best Food Shop (Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly), and Local Heros (Edible Austin). But even those accolades couldn’t keep us from opening – and closing – our second location in downtown Austin in 2018. We’ve had some major wins, some heartbreaks, and lots of lessons learned.”

Come enjoy cheeses and a stimulating talk and discussion with John and Kendall Antonelli! Free for AIBA members and prospective members. Thank you to Texas Coffee Traders for fabulous coffee and Tacodeli for delicious breakfast tacos to start our day off right! 

Source: Events