The Power of Local Returns

We are so excited to present the 2020 Power of Local, a half-day workshop for local business. The Power of Local is a half-day event to connect with others, learn how to build your business using the power of local and come together as a community to share ideas. Local business contributes to and defines our local culture. But what is the best way to embrace this as a tool for your business? Find out at this workshop! It’s fun. It’s informative. It’s beneficial to you and your business.

When: February 20, 9am to 1pm
Location:  ACC Eastview Campus, Room 8500
Cost: $49
 (includes all day admission, coffee and pastries and lunch from local restaurants)
RSVP
The day consists of two presentations, one workshop and a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Derek Peebles, Director of the American Independent Business Alliance. Short breaks will follow each session to allow attendees to speak to the presenters individually.

9:00  Welcome

9:15  Community Conversation: The Power of Leadership with Bobby Jenkins, ABC Home & Commercial
The power of local is the power of roots, relationships and a real commitment to the community. This is one family’s story of engaging employees and the community through leadership and building a company that is an inspiration to all.

10:00  Community Conversation: The Power of Good
What are the benefits of engaging in social good? It helps the community but how does it help your business? Customers are increasingly making purchasing choices not just on your products, services and prices but on what you support. Can your support of causes you believe in boost your business? Panel discussion of four local businesses who practice the power of good. Panel Speakers: Kendall Antonelli, President and Co-Founder, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, Hill Abell, Co-Founder, Bicycle Sport Shop, Karen Kovalovich, Ownership & Outreach Coordinator, Wheatsville Food Coop, Erin Portman, Co-Founder, Birds Barbershop and Verb Products.

10:45  Community Conversation: The Power of Connection
The most important thing for you and your business is connectivity, both with the local community and with customers and clients. As a group, we will enter into a fun moderated connectivity event based on HAVE•NEED•WANT. What do you have to offer other businesses in attendance? What does your business need that others can provide? What connections do you want to make atThe Power of Local? Moderator: Rebecca Melancon, Executive Director, Austin Independent Business Alliance


11:30  Lunch

Attendees will enjoy a buffet lunch from Wheatsville Co-opPasta & Co and Pok-e-Jo’s.

12:00  Lunch and Keynote Address
Derek Peebles, Director of the American Independent Business Alliance. As the new director of AMIBA, Derek is charting a new course for the Buy Local Movement in America. He is also the founder of Neighborhood Grow, an organization that leverages social capital, private capital, and technical expertise for sustainable neighborhood development and increased civic participation. Until accepting his current position at AMIBA, Derek was director of the Economics of Compassion Initiative, a step to support a sustainable and resilient economy for all citizens.

Sponsored by:

AIBA Membership Survey Results

AIBA conducted our annual membership survey in November and the results are in (read the entire survey here.) Thank you to everyone who took the time to take the survey. We take your answers seriously and use the survey to guide us in the coming year. We also have three award winners drawn from survey participants. Sisters & Brothers, Inc won an additional year of membership, Body Business won a membership upgrade and Texas Ponds & Water won a $50 Gift card to Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill. Congratulations to our winners but we must admit, AIBA is the real winner for having such great members who so generously gave us their time.

The survey proved amazing support for AIBA and all our activities. According to your answers, we are definitely on the right track in providing the resources you need. We appreciate the ‘kuddos’ and ‘good job’ responses. These make us feel fabulous (I secretly read them when I’m still working at 2am) but it’s the constructive criticism that makes us a better organization for you.

Highlights from the survey show that:
79% think that AIBA’s marketing members on social media is valuable (up from 58% last year).
69% have utilized other AIBA members for their business needs. Way to go buying local yourselves!
69% also said they had made valuable connections at an AIBA event and 67% think AIBA events are important or crucial. This shows members are really benefiting from the AIBA Community.
60% said their business has benefited from information received from AIBA (up from 52%b last year).
97% would recommend membership in AIBA to another business. Go ahead a recommend us!

And advocacy is important:
88% say AIBA’s Advocacy is important to crucial.
87% are satisfied with AIBA’s advocacy or want us be more Vocal for Local.
60% say our advocacy has benefited their business (up from 54% last year).
51% are dissatisfied with city council.
87% volunteered to be active in our new advocacy program.

There’s always room for improvement and members made the following suggestions:
Members want more promotion of services and B to B businesses. We’re on it.
Sometimes the sound could be better at restaurant events. We’re looking into obtaining a small portable sound system (any member who can help with this?)
You’re looking for more information on business regulations and local opportunities to grow your business. Watch for the new AIBA HUB coming soon where you’ll find all the latest info.
More events in North Austin—help us find great locations and we’re on it.

There is a wealth of information in the survey that we will be acting on throughout the year. Thank you respondents for all your guidance.

Local Biz Camp Nov. 20

Local Biz Camp is a half-day workshop that will help you grow you business or nonprofit with practical advice on market ing, tech tool management, and more. World-class speakers with real-world experience will share free and very low cost tips and strategies. It’ a fast-paced event with lots of helpful information you can put to good use right out of the gate.
Wednesday, Nov. 20TH, 12:30-4PM
Texas State SBDC
1555 University Blvd., Lecture Hall, Room 256
Round Rock, TX 78665
Tickets $40 AIBA Members use promo code AIBA to save $10

TOPICS WILL INCLUDE:
Getting Found Online
Mobile Marketing Tips
Hiring for Growth
Saving Time on Social
Improving Response
Best Ways To Scale
Sell More, Work Less
Low Cost Tools We Love
Grow Your Network
Increase Your Reach
Website Secrets for Sales

Development Services Department 4th Quarterly Stakeholder’s Meeting

For Commercial & Residential Building Plan Review and Inspections

The City of Austin’s Development Services Department would like to invite you to attend the fourth and final quarterly Building Plan Review and Inspections Stakeholder Meeting of 2019, on Tuesday, November 19th from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  The November 19th meeting will combine updates from Commercial and Residential plan review, inspection teams, and partnering departments. Topics will include updates on:

  • Staffing and organizational changes
  • Process improvements
  • Performance updates
  • Current initiatives

Seats are limited, so we encourage you to register soon.

If you have any questions or suggested topics for discussion at future meetings, please email Emlyn Lee.

November 19, 2019, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
One Texas Center, 3rd Floor, Room 325
RSVP: Register Now

The Price of Our Voice

For more than 15 years the AIBA has listened to its members and voiced their concerns at City Hall. At times we have proposed local policies that could help create a more thriving local business community or to relieve a particularly painful part of doing business. At times we’ve had to react to something the City Council has proposed. More often we’ve spoken to illuminate issues troubling to local business.

Throughout the years we have always advocated for and fought for local business. Until recently this has been a wonderful process of building lasting relationships, of debating the issues of the day, of being heard and considering the perspective of others in our community. Sometimes we’ve had to agree to disagree but ending with respect and a handshake. Local business was never viewed as the enemy—until now.

The City of Austin has recently cancelled $60,000 in contracts with AIBA. These are longstanding contracts that have served both entities well. These cancellations all came within a month of publicly announcing our support of Unconventional Austin’s Proposition B—and with no explanation.

The cancellations were no coincidence. They were punishment for voicing support for something contrary to the City Council’s desire to expand the Convention Center without permitting the public to vote. The AIBA, a local nonprofit and the local business community it represents is being punished for expressing the views of its members. That is not OK.

We are advocating for the public to have a vote on Convention Center expansion and to spend a small amount of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) to promote local business to tourists. We’ve voted on every Convention Center expansion in the past and this one should be no different. However you might choose to vote on expansion, we just want you to have that opportunity.

Tourists who come to Austin are looking for what’s unique and different from where they live. They are looking to experience a different culture. Local business provides a fabulous expression of our local culture from clubs and restaurants to local shops. It is entirely appropriate that the city should promote our locals. It is also appropriate that as an organization of locally owned businesses, the AIBA should spotlight local businesses to benefit their own business and our local economy. It’s really that simple.

We are not so large that $60,000 doesn’t matter. It does. I have spent hours and hours looking at what services and programs we do for you that could be cut. But there is no fat here. So I’m asking you to step up and support the only organization in Austin dedicated to supporting you, our local businesses.

If you are already a member, consider a higher membership level or becoming a sponsor or partner. If you are not yet a member, join us at www.ibuyaustin.com/join. The City has taken your funding, but don’t let them damage our community. I can be reached anytime at rebecca@ibuyaustin.com or 512-441-2123.

More Cities Pass Laws to Block Dollar Store Chains

Originally Published in ILSR Hometown Advantage
by Charlie Thaxton

Last March, Randall Woodfin, the mayor of Birmingham, Ala., presented the City Council with new data on food insecurity in the city. The numbers were stark: 69 percent of Birmingham residents live in a food desert, meaning they have to travel a mile or more to reach a grocery store selling fresh food. For the city’s low-income residents who depend on walking and public transit, that can make picking up groceries a long and arduous process.

Many residents end up shopping at dollar stores for food instead, the mayor reported. Although most dollar stores sell no fresh foods and offer only a narrow selection READ MORE.