The American Independent Business Alliance
) is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of local independent business
In business, an independent business as a term of distinction generally refers to privately owned companies . Independent businesses most commonly take the form of sole-proprietorships...
es, helps communities develop strong local economies through nurturing local entrepreneurs, and promotes citizen engagement in local economic development. AMIBA helps communities to: launch and successfully operate "buy local" campaigns; facilitate group purchasing and marketing among local businesses, and; other programs to support community enterprise.
Many of these communities form Independent Business Alliance
The term Independent Business Alliance refers to local affiliates of the American Independent Business Alliance . According to AMIBA's website, "An IBA is a coalition of locally-owned independent businesses, citizens and community organizations united to support home town businesses in a community...
s to strengthen and sustain community-based businesses while strengthening local economies and preventing chains and other remotely controlled businesses from driving out locals.
Local independent businesses
AMIBA defines a local independent business as:
- Private, employee, community, or cooperative ownership
- At least 50% owned by area residents
- Full decision-making authority for the business lies with its local owner(s)
- A limited number and geographic range of business locations (determined by local affiliates based on their circumstances)
The organization was incorporated in 2001 by Jeff Milchen
Jeff Milchen is a non-profit entrepreneur, writer and speaker best known as an advocate for independent businesses, community economic vitality and representative democracy. He is a co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance , where he is the organization's most frequent public speaker...
and Jennifer Rockne, who previously led the Boulder Independent Business Alliance (in Colorado), the first such alliance in the U.S. The AMIBA is a 501c(3) educational organization based in Bozeman, Montana and is directed by an eight-member board comprising present or past leaders of local Independent Business Alliances.
local Alliances were active in the United States and Canada as of March, 2011 representing 16,000 - 20,000 independent businesses across 34 states and the province of Alberta. Many other organizations have emulated the IBA organizing model in recent years.
AMIBA engaged in the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court case of title=Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission Citizens United v FEC
, arguing to retain long-standing limits on corporate political power. AMIBA's amicus brief argued that enhancing the political power of large corporations would harm smaller competitors that must rely on market performance for their success. Though neither party was involved directly, AMIBA opposed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the case.
Board of directors
Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; President, Portland (ME) Independent Business and Community Alliance
Jeff Milchen, AMIBA co-founder; Founder, Boulder Independent Business Alliance
Carla Jimenez, Founder, Tampa Independent Business Alliance
Steve Bercu, President, Austin Independent Business Alliance
Erin Kilmer Neel, Director, Locally Wrapped, Oakland, CA
Betsy Burton, Co-founder Salt Lake City Vest Pocket Business Coalition; President, Local First Utah
Vicki Pozzebon, Director, Santa Fe Alliance
The Executive Director is Jennifer Rockne